New Year, Same War Cry

 

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It’s a new year, and as much as I wanted to begin my first 2019 blog with something motivational, something inspirational, I found myself needing to vent, needing to purge, needing to wail the same war cry I’ve always bellowed:

“Protect Black Women, Love Black Women.”

2019 started with multiple stories detailing the assault against black girls.

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First, there was a video going viral on social media showing a black girl — Yasmine James — getting assaulted by a white man while working the register at Mcdonalds. The white man — Daniel Taylor — reaches ACROSS the Mcdonald’s counter, GRABS Yasmine by the collar, and violently PULLS her back to the counter. Instinctively, James defended herself with a series of blows she gave Taylor. Her co-wokers watched James defend herself for quite some time before mildly stepping in and telling Taylor to stop. What started the quarrel? Taylor was upset that there were no straws readily available to him, which led to a heated conversation with Yasmine.

 

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Second, the R. Kelly docuseries aired on Lifetime and chronicled the horror stories of underage black girls who were manipulated, brainwashed, and muscled into an illegal, sexually abusive relationship with the R&B star. The docuseries led to a flood of commentary and criticism from the public. There were many within the black community that overlooked the alarming evidence produced by the documentary and defended R.Kelly while chastising the victims.

 

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Third, 7 yr. old Jazmine Barnes was killed during a drive-by while out with her mother and sisters. Jazmine’s mother was shot as well. The shooters claimed it was an act of “mistaken identity”. Jazmine Barnes’ murder caught national attention. Based on a criminal sketch of the shooter, it was believed that the killer was a white male. To the surprise of many, the shooters were black. 

 

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Fourth, today it was reported that in North Carolina, 51 yr. old David Bell — who is 6’5″, 250 pound white dude — stood in the center of an altercation with a group of black girls while standing outside of a mall. He gets into verbal combat with an 11yr. old black girl  and violently pushes her away. Upset that she was pushed, the 11yr. old girl aggressively walks up to Bell, and Bell heavily PUNCHES her in the FACE, and the little girl is instantly knocked to the floor. While the girl lies immobile on the concrete, the group of spectators scream and flee the scene.
Pause. Let me breathe.

First, I will address the two white brutes who viciously attacked two young, black girls. These animals — they are not men — have no respect for black people, especially black women. Their strong distaste for black women does not surprise me considering the brutal history of this country; however, to be so bold, in this day and age, to publicly & violently abuse a black girl — a child — is beyond comprehension. No matter what the verbal exchange was, neither one of these girls did anything that would warrant such an assault. At the end of the day, these were GROWN MEN who, instead of handling the situation like mature adults and walking away, decide to fight these girls as though they were men. They acted as if these girls posed a serious threat to them, which they didn’t. 

The black consensus has been that, had these two girls been white, their safety would have never been discarded in such a manner. To be white is to be human — it means that your life is worth more in the eyes of society. To be black is to be un-human — it means that our existence holds little value in the eyes of many, and is, therefore, not protected. To know this cognitively is one thing, but to see this truth visually re-played over and over again is another thing entirely — it’s traumatizing.

 

Lastly, I will address the black brutes who also violated the safety of black girls.

What the f*%k is wrong with you?!

As African Americans we know what our struggle has been and we are aware of the war against us. Why then would we commit war amongst ourselves? R. Kelly is a sick, tortured monster who has emotionally, psychologically, and physically infected young girls with his same illness. He leaves these young girls as zombies — the walking dead — totally disconnected from themselves and the life they once had. And the fact that there are black people still willing to listen to his music and refuse to let go of the idea of this R&B “genius” is absolutely enraging. To ignore the truth shows an unwillingness to prioritize the life of black girls.

And the goons who killed Jazmine Barnes are lowly fools caught up in a familiar killing cycle that continues to take so many black lives. I also find it really hard to believe this whole “mistaken identity” non-sense. How can you pull up to a vehicle and not see a woman in the drivers seat with her kids in the back? Something about that excuse makes no sense to me.

We have experienced so much trauma in the black community, that we are now passing that trauma on to each other. But we know too much now to continue the abuse, to continue this idea that black women and girls are not worth protecting. If the world will not come to our defense, then it’s expected that the black men in our community will, in fact, come to our aid. But, alas, not enough black men come to serve as a place of refuge and security for black womanhood. Those voices of support and love sound faint and need to grow louder and stronger and more consistent. We need to see more black men provide a shield for us — not against us.

Until this happens, black women must do what we have always done, and that is to pick up our daily armor of whatever scraps we have been given and protect ourselves once again.

 

 

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A Letter to my Unborn Son #Ferguson #MikeBrown

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Son,

I loved you at the moment of conception.

Your father and I decided to extend our timeline through you. You were our eternity.

As you grew inside me, I enthusiastically prepared for your arrival.

But my enthusiasm turned into fear – fear for your survival.

I realized that the world may not be as excited to have you here.

The world may not be ready to swaddle you in their arms like I would;

may not be ready to align your path with the golden opportunities our ancestors paid in blood for.

Why?..you ask.

Well you, my love, are a Black boy.

With skin of obsidian – smooth and flawless ;

deep and vast like star-studded galaxies;

warm like an indian summer in september.

You, my love, are beautiful.

But the world has yet to fully incorporate your beauty into its’ pallet.

They walk blindly, speak ignorantly, & kill unmercilessly.

They will try to color you out of history.

But I will not let them, I refuse to let them.

Your beauty, your genius, your art, your strength, your fight, your compassion, your style, your poise, your voice will live on as long as I have breath to declare it to the world.

I will write your history down.

Whether they acknowledge it or not, whether they honor it or not, whether they choose to do better or not,

it WILL be written.

Your birth will be your day of crowning and the start of your reign.

And I will be there to properly adorn you with the love and guidance they tried to deny you.

And your story – our story- will be an epic tale of triumph and glory.

So come now, and rest beside me…

we will leave the world outside for now…and dream.  

~BEpifani 2014

Comparisons

 

Participation in social media makes it easy for us to assume that someone else’s life going better that ours. We  curse our own fate and begin to envy those we see without ever knowing the details of that person’s life or the challenges he/she may face. It’s important to remember – especially in regards to social media- that things are not always as they appear, and that everyone experiences the highs and the lows that come from simply living. Don’t be so eager to forfeit your path in exchange for another’s. You don’t know what it takes to walk in their shoes, nor what they are enduring while on their journey. Instead of resisting your life, choose to be grateful. To compare means to negate all the blessings that have been given unto you.

~BEpifani~

Taking Flight

 

 

The older I’ve gotten, the further I’ve evolved, the more people I’ve shed. Learning to fly light felt lonesome at first. But now I’m able to soar higher with those of like spirits, without the weight of fruitless attachments. 

~B’Epifani~