I am thrilled to see that Black girls are all the rage these days. It’s about time. For those that are super late to the party, just about every Black woman I know is sincerely the shit.
Being a Black girl from Baltimore, I have learned through my own personal experiences the single best way to make it through day to day interactions with white people who more often than not expect inferiority from you in presence, communication, and execution. That part of the truth used to sting the shit out of me.
Working in corporate America. An appointment with a banker to buy a home. Ordering at a fine dining restaurant. Sparking conversation after yoga. Waiting in line at Whole Foods. It sure is fucking exhausting being Black.
At one point, I felt the need to overcompensate to appeal in conversation or just to be noticed in a room where I may be one of the only few Black people in the place. That ended quickly. I realized early on that of course, all white people are not personally against you, but if are Black, you must position yourself to not care whether they accept you or not. It’s the safest approach for your sanity as a Black person. I used to go home feeling like the uncool kid at the lunch table when I would try to butt into a convo with white women after taking a 90 minute yoga class with my mat set up literally 5 inches away from them. Fucking silly.
A friend once told me that it is a defining moment in your life as a Black person when you awaken to the moment where you find exactly where and how your need for white validation may lie within your subconscious. I was pissed when I learned that my friend was right.
I grew up in the inner city. I didn’t even have a personal conversation with anyone white until high school. Not that I remember anyway. Went to an HBCU for a year or so before gaining an internship in NYC. I didn’t know I’d be one of two Black chicks to be employed with the company. We were put against one another and I didn’t even realize it until I moved on. I’ve had a white waitress interrogate me on details regarding the wine I chose to seemingly expose my “ignorance” while dining with one of my white friends. To go on in detail is unnecessary. Please note that I am in no way attempting to diminish racism and its affects on a larger scale. Trust, I get it.
Any who, I guess my overall point is that the way I choose to fight racism daily is to be completely oblivious to the fact that it may continually and randomly come up in my space. It’s almost like reverse psychology. I know you don’t want me here, but I do in fact BELONG, will be here whether you like it or not, and will ignore your existence on a majestic level with my melanin whimsically on fleek. I now erase any expectation I may have and speak to everyone as if they are colorless, even when I know the vibe doesn’t compliment my presence. If you welcome me, I welcome you. We can chat. Will love you and treat you as my neighbor. I’m always open to meet people, expand, and build. I will tell you where I got my shoes from and even hold the door for you. But, you can not touch my hair. LOL.
Rising above remembering that grace has no limits,
P.S. Whenever I wonder how to conduct myself when in the midst of some bullshit, I just think about what Phylicia Rashad would do. 🙂
Top photo: Phylicia Rashad in The Cosby Show
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