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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the state of race relations in America. One thing I learned from the success of ROOTS (if you don’t know, you better ask somebody) 42 years ago, was the power of storytelling as a way to bridge the gap between races.
There was an America before ROOTS and there was an America after ROOTS and post ROOTS, America was a greater, more enlightened nation. We came to a better, deeper, more informed understanding of the evil nature, intent and outcomes of chattel slavery as practiced in America.
As a result, I fervently believe in the power of Storytelling to move the culture forward. To that end, some friends and I have created a few videos, 6 in all, that chronicle some of the racist experiences most Black people who live in America, have in common.
Spoiler Alert: Unless you have walked the walk of the African American experience in this country, it is difficult — not impossible — but difficult, to know what that journey is on the daily. Trust me when I say, being Black in America is not for the weak of heart.
Neither is it for the weak in Spirit. For, being Black in America oftentimes means living in and loving a country, that does not love us back. You may take exception to my premise but you cannot discount my experience.
The first installment of, This Is My Story, is an incident from my own life. The others are real life experiences of some of my friends, told by me. Like ROOTS did so long ago, my intention in sharing these stories is to provide anecdotal context for being Black in America.
I know now, what I didn’t then; I belong here regardless of your idea of who I am, based solely on my skin color.
For Black children in America, being confronted by racism is almost a right of passage.
By no means am I saying that all cops are racist, that would be stupid and unfair. That said, racism in the ranks of law enforcement is a fact of life in America.
Racist humor is neither funny nor is it cute. It is hurtful and intends to disparage, demean, and dehumanize.
Black children in America learn early on that racism is a fact of life. The premature loss of innocence can be damaging if not devastating to the development of self esteem and confidence.
It is not enough to simply abstain from racist behavior. Calling racism out in condemnation, is part of the price of priveledge.
Thanks for your time and attention. That’s it... for now. #bydhttmwfi
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