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The tale of two identities.

As children, most of us are raised to go to college, get good jobs and strive for greatness.

As black children, most of us are raised to go to college, be better than 'them' so you can't be denied, strive for greatness and act accordingly in spaces that are not our own.

As a lot of us grow up, we take heed to our lessons, aiming for success, entering spaces (and tax brackets) that weren't able to be accessed by our grandparents and sometimes our own parents, but struggle because we aren't taught the rules of 'the game' nor do we start out from a equal space than our colleagues. 
Imagine taking your 5 year old child, telling them they have learn all the 1st grade through 6th grade material at once in a room full of 11 year olds who are already dealing with advance placement work...
So we are forced to learn on our own and quickly, how to 'act' ,where to be authentic ourselves, which hairstyles to wear ,what to wear to off hours company events, hell how to eat and laugh in the break room ....Oh...and don't forget the micro aggressions.
FYI;'Code switching' is a real thing in these spaces.

Then we go home, sometimes being accused of being 'complacent' ,' sell out' ,'acting white',etc because we choose not to choose the same road of activism against injustices as some of our brothers and sisters...When in actuality, the soap box we stand on is valid but different. We are more vital than what most want to acknowledge, despite it being a hard job... We are the bridge between two worlds.

.......And then there is the political and social happenings that force us to deal with both identities at once in professional spaces.

Now, me personally have a rule that I do not discuss certain things in mixed company (Race,Religon,Politics, Gender,Sexuality or of course ,Beyonce).... 
However, there is always one person who must bring up a current event in some way shape or form, that puts me (and those like me) in an awkward position to wonder 'are you baiting me?' or are you trying to genuinely understand in a space that makes you feel comfortable instead of choosing to be ignorant.....
Can I be the difference between you being a Karen or being a better human?

Then there is a part of me that says, 
'Why the fuck is that my burden? Why must i explain my existence to you or anyone else for that matter....You met black people before me,bitch,'


Most of not all of us cannot riot ,retaliate or even cry like we want to when these events happen because we are literally the people who will bail others out and care for our families with our ‘good’ jobs/benefits. 

We are some the few that 'made it' (on paper)
We sit at the ‘table’ alone often silent victims of unheard first hand systemic racism, slipping the scraps to our brothers/sisters under said table and playing ‘the game’ in efforts to do better in life.We are caught between separate but ultimately same identities ....
The world that puts food on our table and affords simple luxuries but sees folks do and say the most passive aggressive racist shit in front of us regularly because they are comfortable or don't see as one of 'them'....


And the world that we are from and is our every day reality outside of the walls we occupy 40 +hrs a week...

We are forced to ‘perform’ despite what happens inside of us and knowing that the same people we share laughs with at the coffee machine would never use their privileges to save us, understand our double identities, march in the event of the police murdering us like countless others or understand why there would be a protest in the first place?






Comments

  1. Girl this speaks volumes

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a DOPE & super insightful reflection.

    Namaste, my friend ������!

    ReplyDelete

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