Updated: Jul 8, 2020
I’m not here to shame or divide but to uplift sides that have mentally been held down for a while. Change starts in the mind of you and me. I remember when I used to think my skin color was a setback, and in my younger days I’d perm my hair just to assimilate to the mold of what beauty “should” look like in the eyes of society. I even remember thinking people with fairer skin were better than me. I remember, having to feel like I had something to prove when I was among fairer skinned people. I used to feel like the “little fish” time and time again.
No one ever told me blatantly that I am a “little” person, but messages come in a variation of forms. I simply saw the subliminal messages in the shows I watch, in the history books of people like me. In the media, most black people are seen as illiterate, having a one-dimensional character, of a freedom fighter, a thug, an angry black woman, or one who has to overcome the many hurdles of life. Whereas, in the other shows, one with fairer skin is seen as rich and powerful, living luxuriously, it seemed all too simple and joyous for the non black.
In essence, we are all humans, and who doesn’t want to live a good and progressive life? So, of course I wanted to live life like non-blacks. It’s as if I had to disassociate myself from the Public image of a black person to feel I would be accepted. Tell me this, is that not a subtle and profound way to condition one’s mind to have you look at me a certain way, and for me to give in to what is portrayed in society?
This is psychology. If I see the closed and untrue image constantly being put out of people like me, won’t I unconsciously impress these very views upon myself?
I had to reconstruct my thinking to never feel like the small fish. I had to realize my history does not just date back to slavery. I had to self teach myself the history that was never taught to me in school. The history where ethnic people (African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican-Americans, Irish Americans etc..) were also constructors of the American Society. The Motto of America was traditionally "E pluribus unum" meaning “Out of many, one”. Doesn’t that mean our history is tremendously conjoined? This is not “White America” this is America, where all people have built this nation and the American dream is for ALL. Yes, change needs to happen in the system to not just favor white America but all Americans, we are one, let’s not forget.
But back to the people of discussion, Ancient black people were founding innovators in science, education, architecture, philosophy, and business. We are not our ancestors' wildest dreams, we are our ancestors' worst nightmare. Why? Because we have allowed the thoughts and impressions of others to confine the essence of who we are, We have told people that we are a minority, we have wrongly judged our brothers and sisters on presumptions that were never made to uplift.
For all, Our minds can no longer lay dormant. It is time all man and woman, the human race move forward progressively and constructively.