What is being black in America you ask? Would you like the honest truth? The reality behind the answer to this question comes with numerous amount of facts and opinions that are eye-opening. You would never think that being oneself could come with so many tribulations. Being black in America, has more meaning than it portrays. Being black in America is being told to get over the past. Society wants you to forget the 246 years that African Americans were in bondage (“Slavery in America”). How can all the bruises made, blood shed, tears cried, and families being separated, be forgotten? Let us not forget that it is the blood and bones of African American people that lay the foundation of this place in which we live. Being black in America is being told that slavery did not have anything to do with us so why be angry about it. Being black in America means that you have been fighting for your rights for 14 years and more, but they want that to be looked over.
The men and women such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Daisy Bates, etc. (“Slavery in America”) are often talked down upon because being black, yet great, in America is a disgrace. Being black in America is watching the brutality reoccurring to the black race. It is going day by day hoping that your brother was able to make it home safely. I, being only 16 years old, have to sit by the television watching breaking news of a black male being killed in Alabama, hoping the name will not appear of my brothers. Being black in America is being relieved that it is not your family name that is showing, but feeling the sorrow that another family is feeling. Knowing that the family will have to live with being aware of their son’s murder being able to walk freely on the streets, is heartbreaking. Being black in America is knowing that the judicial system believes in second chances for every race except the black one. Being black in America is knowing an innocent unarmed teen can be shot down 10 times by a Ferguson policemen that was able to walk away on paid relief (“Timeline: Michael Brown”). Being black in America is being angry that a New York policemen does not understand when a black man says, “I can not breathe” (“NYPD Files”). Being black in America is continually having a protest against your protest.
Being black in America is trying to continue loving yourself when it seems as though society does not. It is being told that you are nothing more than an athlete. It is hearing repeatedly that accomplishing success, as far as academics, is not of the African American nature; except that it is more than apart of the nature. It is being told that if it was not for the white man, then we would all be without money or homes; except, there people like Troy Taylor (chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida) who prove these stereotypical people wrong everyday (“Meet Troy Taylor”). Being black in America is being told your body is not of the average black girl because it is too small. It is being asked, “Are you Indian?” because the hair of the “average” black person does not curl. Being black in America is being told that oneself is liked because they act so “white”; because, now, if one acts as though they have home training, it results in acting of the “white’ nature. Being black in America is having to face society everyday and be tough. Being black in America is being told in more ways than one that you do not matter. It is having hashtags repeatedly being posted on social media discriminating one’s culture. It is being inveighed against because the Black Lives Matter protest made was not to their liking (#BlackLivesMatter).
Being black in America is knowing that one day your kids will live in a world that judges them because the skin they are in. It is having to sit down with them before the first day of school and explain that they are as important as anyone else. Being black in America is wishing that those conversations would not have to be discussed. I have opened the doors to more of the judgement and criticism to explain the trials of being black in America. Was it eye-opening enough? Was it enough for me to write this knowing that I will get more weird looks and more whispers from those that already judge me? I live in this country, continuing to love it the same. It is just that, being black in America is hoping that one day things will change.