So much has happened since my last post. Videos of the public execution of two African American men made their rounds in our digital communities, our televisions, music, and in our communities. Five police officers were killed during an attack at a peaceful protest of police in Dallas. Baltimore rapper and peace activist Lor Scoota was killed, after speaking at a peace rally, a few weeks later his manager was also killed in the city. This summer is proving to be a confluence of exploitative conditions in urban and rural communities, denigrating political rhetoric that promotes the continued invalidation of black and brown lives.
This comes at a time when the music, art, food, language and spirit of the community is as popular as ever, but the souls of the creators are still dismissed.
Today’s post is a guest feature by my sister, Ashley Drakeford. It’s her description of the pain and heartache that Black Americans feel in the country that has been the home that never felt like home. The love affair that never seems to work out, no matter how much you want it to. Enjoy and share…
The United States is in a situationship with blacks in this country. Constantly leaving us black folks in the gray area, like a side chick. Y’all know what I’m talking about. That guy that acts like he’s interested when he wants something from you. At times he seems like the best thing ever. But more often than not he’s just using you to fill up his emotional bank. Taking credit for all the spoils of our culture, our innovations, our style, our music. All the while depleting our rights to simply be human and just live.
As soon as you’ve got your shit together and realize you’re worth more, he throws you a bone to hook you on his line again. Calling you, bringing you flowers. Promising to wear body cameras, or “giving” you the right to vote, or finally electing a black President after 250 years, and eventually you begin to make excuses for his behavior and go back to him time and time and time and time again. Throwing your self-love out the window, and putting his needs before your own.
You forget all the amazing things about yourself. You forget all the reasons that dumb ass guy wanted you in the first place. You weren’t just slaves, you were skilled artisans, healers, musicians, amazing cooks, agriculturists..the list goes on and on. Somewhere along the line you’ve forgotten how absolutely awesome you are.
It’s time to love ourselves. Stop waiting for this moron…oops I mean America to recognize your greatness. Love your sisters and brothers, rebuild your own communities. He is never going to end the relationship, because from his angle everything is great. You have to be the one to walk away. Work on yourself, while you’re at it. Build your own economy, you create the jobs. Maybe he’ll finally see you for the unique, divinely created being you are. And if he doesn’t, oh well.
I know it’s hard to stop answering his call because you love him…I’ve been there. But trust me, he doesn’t Love you he loves himself only. Love yourself first and you’ll get over him.
Header Image: Primrose & West’s Big Minstrels. Minstrel poster collection (Library of Congress) Learn more about Cakewalks here, here , and here