A Crying Shame
It’s sometimes easy to take my life experiences for granted, especially in an effort to stay optimistic and live in gratitude. I’m thankful for so much. God’s mercy and grace have covered me and sustained me and kept me from harm. As a result, sometimes I’m just not super conscious of the day to day circumstances that many of my brothers and sisters face on a day to day basis. Fruitvale was today’s reminder that poverty has created this bubble that many families are unable to break through. It’s a pervasive and perpetual cycle that has poured over from generation to generation….shaping family dynamics and causing dysfunction that becomes the state of normalcy for many. In many cases leaving our beautiful black men hopeless and angry, turning to crime and drugs to help navigate their way, all while functioning in a system that on the surface ensures justice for all. Except, time after time, we see injustice for our beautiful black men.
After watching Fruitvale, once again I’m disheartened by the realities and injustices for minorities and communities that are predominantly populated by minorities. I can’t even get angry, mostly I’m just saddened. Oscar Grant, a young man with his entire life ahead of him, had is life cut short due to a snap reaction that is second nature for authorities across the county….not just in minority communities. It just leaves me to wonder why black men are perceived to be such a threat to other ethnicities. Men of other populations commit crimes, argue, express dissatisfaction; yet somehow “our” men are disproportionately brutalized, killed, and profiled. It makes me angry.
I always wanted to have boys. I always thought that somehow it would be easier to raise boys as opposed to girls (which I admit is an ignorant assumption given that I’ve never raised a kid). My logic was that girls have to work through self-esteem, self-love, and body image issues more so than guys do. However, the reality is that it’s just as frightening to raise boys in today’s society. You not only have to nurture and foster self-confidence (as well as all of the other fundamental characteristics); but there are a range of ethno-specific life skills that our babies must be taught now as well. Unfortunately, despite all of the teaching and preparing and coaching, some fools will continue to challenge young black boys simply because of what they look like and what they think black boys represent.
I sometimes cry for Trayvon at the mere fact that he didn’t get to live his life to its full potential. Just seventeen, he died terrified for his life and I can’t forget that. Oscar and countless others have had the exact same experience and it breaks my heart.
I came upon a rough patch in my path to natural hair. I’ve been struggling to make it work through flat ironing on a daily basis to make my hair presentable for work. However, I’m a good 7 months in and it has just gotten to be a bit much. Its depressing to keep applying heat on a daily basis, so I decided to get corn rows to give my hair a break from the heat. A couple of weeks later, I got microbraids to give my hair some respite from the day to day hustle, heat and strain. I think I should be ok for the next several weeks at least. Some say micros should last for 4 months, but I don’t know about all of that. Today, my quality of life has improved as a result of not having having to worry about hair. I’m going to ride it out.
I’m at the point where I literally go back and forth with how I style my hair. Managing my hair in its natural state offers a few additional options for hair styles for me. I hate wearing it the same way all of the time, so I continue to experiment while my fro grows! It’s cool to watch the process ensue :)
My natural hair journey is actually progressing pretty well. Wearing my hair in its natural state is freeing. NOT EASY but rewarding nonetheless :)