Were I A Black Man/Were I A Black Woman
Here is the challenge:
Were I A Black Man/Were I A Black Woman
A 500-word reflection
Could you write a 500-Word reflection in which you state what life should be like, were you a Black man or a Black woman? Consider, without being necessarily limited to, the following prompts in your reflection:
• White supremacy and Jim crow
• Slavery and reparation
• Black wall street and the economy
• Police targeting and brutality
• Politics and change
• The place of John Howard Griffin
• Synopsis or Movie of John Howard Griffin’s “Black Like Me” https://youtu.be/Ww0q4XhxPAA
• Poem by cabcool [ONLY IF YOU DON’T MIND]: “that i am black” http://mydo.cx/ZTVmMDdj
The inclusion of my personal poem is not for self-promotion. Note I have not posted it to this thread. I believe it is pertinent because it addresses a situation in which the persona is speaking from the point of view of being already Black, while you are being asked to imagine yourselves being Black.
Ok. I pick a woman from 2020.
My girlfriend laughed when I said what I wanted.
“You are black! Black girls will never be models.” She stopped quickly and her expression became more sympathetic.
I was angry. Tearing my gaze away down into my eyes in the coffee cup, they were as beautiful as everyone said. My blonde boyfriend loves my eyes. He never hits me unlike her ex-boyfriend did - who’s dad sadly didn’t teach him better because he was never there.
His parents love me. I wish I could say the same of my parents about him. My uncle loves him, but he’s from Africa. South Africa, but he always encourages me to just say Africa, like America is many states, but one. He’s a pan-African. He’s more open with me about these things than with my folks because we agree on politics these days.
I‘m voting for Trump, and so is he. Gone is the America who pretends the KKK can be ignored. Now, because of Trump, they are officially domestic terrorists.
Helping him at his thriving business on the edge of town, I told my uncle later that day what my friend said. Motioning me to sit in his golf cart before he drove us off his green he said, “You are an American! With the biggest, most beautiful dark brown eyes and strong bone structure. Your skin is flawless like your mother’s. Go for it! I moved here because it is the land of opportunity, so I could build my dreams and take those advantages back home!”
He also plans to take us back to Africa with him when he is ready. He tried talking with my parents about this desire last week for the first time. Mom and Dad are scared of the idea. They don’t feel like they will fit in, as they only speak English. But I’m excited!
They all agree it will be culture shock, and it sounds scary but I always love a good thrill! Next year my parents will let me visit with my uncle and his kids during summer break. They hope I’ll realize how much easier American culture is. Instead I will learn and bring home my confidence and experience and I really think Uncle and I will break them! They don’t realize how stubborn we can be!
I was warned, though. Even my uncle wonders if I will get the career of my dreams where we move. It might be more like settling. Lots of hard work, stumbling through awkward and even dangerous language confusion. South Africa has seen a lot of violence. This is where Uncle might suggest that we be open to other areas of Africa and remember, she is one, and she will be, again. But I was really hoping we could see my uncle’s home town. Sadly, it is on an unstable border. Maybe in ten years. Peace is spreading across the world. I have more hope today than ever before.
Lately, though, it’s been weird. I saw a man who was wearing blue (who looked too much like my dad for comfort) getting assaulted and called unbelievable names by white college kids who were trying to “dox” him.
I try not to let anything scare me, but I’m feeling nervous about the street activism these days. And then I saw a skinny guy with earrings in a pink shirt being screamed at because he had on a pink MAGA hat. One girl even threw her drink at him and called him bad word meaning - a bundle of sticks. You know the name. I’m sickened. Some white teens attacked my boyfriend yesterday and said he was a racist, to which I shouted, “he’s my boy, F-off!”
They screamed back “his parents have a flag like a bunch of fascists!” One of them pushed him. I got so mad I jumped and grabbed her hair, throwing her to the ground. She didn’t dare hit me. I got to go on a field trip because I’m BIPOC. It wasn’t a minority field trip, but the white kids in my class only - were excluded. Teacher’s idea.
Suddenly I felt bad for her and got up. She’s annoying and wrong as can be but she’s trying to do the right thing and now I have too much power.
The teacher steps in. Only asking me how I was. I said nothing to get the brat in trouble because only she would be punished with detention. I’d seen it before. She was too privileged to get away with anything. My stomach turning, I suddenly really wanted to leave America even more.