I am not a hateful person. I know many awesome people of a variety of races, cultures, and belief systems that are not mine. I learn things from them, and I hope they gain something from knowing me too.
And yet, I would be a liar all up in your face if I did not openly celebrate my people–BLACK PEOPLE.
I love being black in a superficial way. I love our skin colors, the different shades and hues and undertones of melanin rich skin. The way the light reflects off the darkest of my people inspires me. The sunny glow of my lighter brothers and sisters amazes me. The deep milk chocolate, toasty browns, and creamy buttery complexions fill me with satisfaction. The waves, curls, coils, and kinks of hair delight me. I love to see black people in colorful clothes, but especially white and yellow and red. The kaleidoscope thrills me.
I love being black in a purely emotional way. We cultivate feeling: the way we walk, dance, run, stand, sit–I marvel at the pure emotional way in which we do everything. There is so much energy contained in every movement, every word. Even an angry black person is a work of passionate art when you step back and view him objectively. We are a colorful people in more than just our skin but our poignancy and approach to a life that constantly tries to kill the spirit.
I love being black in a cerebral way. We ooze creativity. We set the tone in a thousand ways. People copy our look; our style; our poetry; our storytelling; our music; our hairstyles; our vernacular; our swagger. Historians and scientists have spent years trying to figure out how we do what we do. From music to mathematics to architecture to the arts and everything in between, we create and create and create. We take nothing and turn it into something. We make hard things easy. We evolve within whatever context we are thrown no matter how violent or demeaning or destructive. We LIVE for challenges to conquer, to help others overcome.
I love being black in a spiritual way. You see, you can say what you want. You can flip the script all day long. But the truth is still true. We are a chosen people, the carriers of creation’s best intentions and gifts. We carry the cradle of civilization in our bellies, all the way from the African motherland across oceans down into slavery through Jim Crow and now standing in an angry and insecure America.
So when I say to people without reservation that black lives matter, I mean it from place of love and pride, not out of hate. I say it with an understanding of something that mainstream culture wants to deny and destroy out of fear and superstition of the “other”: black people all over the globe ring the changes. When we prosper, everyone prospers. When we suffer, the world suffers–whether they want to admit it or not, understand it or not. We are a light sitting on a hill that all must climb.
And with that in my heart, I will always use my voice to uplift my people.
For all my black people out there, you are loved. I love you. I see your potential every day in the eyes of the children I teach, in the dances and rhythms that they create compulsively but don’t know why. I see the glory of your existence in the sassy outfits they make from hand-me-downs and hustle. I hear it in the songs they sing and poetry they make raps with and the stories they tell to overcome the burden of limitations placed on them solely because of a recent evil history that they cannot see past to escape. I see the beauty of our true history in their laughter and limbs and life. They are royalty to me.
And so are you.