A few days ago, I posted this paragraph on Facebook,
“Mike Brown. I will never forget him. I had heard about Trayvon, but the racism of it all hadn’t really clicked in my mind until Mike Brown was murdered in 2014. I’ve only been educating myself for the past three years. It hasn’t been that long but I have learned so much about myself and what blackness means to me. I spent my whole life missing a whole part of me. I’ve struggled with my own personal anti-blackness, I tried for a long time to act like I wasn’t black, just had a good tan. Owning who I am, learning more about the history of this country, about slavery, about black and brown people across the globe has truly been a blessing. I’ve grown a confidence, not a physical one, but I’ve learned to become unapologetic. I’m not afraid to defend myself and my morals. I’m not afraid to lose people for speaking the truth. And I never will be again. I love my melanin and I love yours.”
All throughout my teen years, I let people say very racist, nasty things to me while I laughed saying, “I’m not that black.” I let my skin be the punchline to every joke. When I came to college, however, I really started to learn more about myself. I started taking African-American Literature classes and discovered an entire side of myself I never let blossom. I enrolled in this class because combating racism is something I am incredibly passionate about and I want to learn to express my thoughts and feelings in a way that is efficient and powerful. I don’t want to just rant to my family anymore – I want to make a difference.