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To Be Black Is To….

Good morning, Muskies! I hope everyone’s weekend was wonderful and relaxing ūüôā Today’s post will talk a little bit about a very raw, emotional experience that I had experienced over the weekend. While everyone else was busy getting ready to watch the Super Bowl (by the way, I bet all you Seahawks are just grinning ear to ear as your read this lol), I chose to reflect about the true meaning of Black History Month & what it meant to be a Black person, in general.

I never really gave it much thought until I came to Muskingum where the Black population is very slim overall & someone outside of my race asked me that question about two years ago. As my days as a Muskie slowly come to an end, the question of self identity had once again made its omnipresence known. But, this time, I had a ready answer for it—simply, there is no shortened four to seven sentence paragraph that universally applies to every single person that’s a part of the Black community or no book titles The Making of Black People for Dummies. If you still might not understand or believe it, perhaps this poem will help make things a little clearer:

It’s more than a race.
It’s more than an ethnicity.
It’s more than a check in the box that might have “Black/African American ” written next to it.
It’s more than a historical fight towards equality.
It’s more than a man who invented the stop light or graduated from Morehouse College at age 15.
It’s more than a woman who created the first line of hair care products or the very machine that is responsible
for those Converses on your feet.
It’s more than days spent under the hot sun picking cotton, ¬†humming the words to “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”,¬†praying to God that one day, you will not have to answer anyone as your ‘Massa’ or risk getting whipped to the point where you had¬†enough welts for your great-great-great-grerat grandkids to feel the stinging pain.
It’s more than having the second (& shortest) month of the year dedicated to our heritage.
It’s more than hopping on the ‘SOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL TRAIN !”¬†
It’s more rocking big beautiful afros or dreadlocks.
It’s more than rap, hip-hop, jazz, gospel and rhythm & blues.
It’s more than “swag surfing” or fucking bitches and getting money that is not even yours by a LONG shot.
It’s more than Waiting to Exhale or busting the windows out or your ex man’s blue SUV with a crowbar.
It’s more than Alvin Ailey, Josephine Baker, Matthew “Stymie” Beard, Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas, ¬†Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Charles Drew, Garrett Morgan, Madama CJ Walker, Jesse Jackson, Al Shaprton, Minnie Ripperton, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, ¬†Will Smith, Halle Berry, Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley ,T.D. Jakes, Marivn Sapp, Kirk Franklin, Bobby Jones, Barack Obama & the list could go on for forever & a year.
To be black is not to be understood or talked about or dissected like your 10th grade bio project.
To be black is unfinished, undefinable by any characteristics. 
To be black is merely what cannot be explained in a matter of words or books or studies testing out different theories.
It’s more than just looking at the history books in government class.
Once your skin becomes darker, your hair kinkier & your presence draws awes and guffaws alike,
then you will encompass what being Black really is all about.

Hopefully, this helps out somebody out there to not try to define people of other races with closed minded standards and rules, but instead choose to respect & possibly embrace their unique beauty and composition. Happy Monday!




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