Hey y’all, it’s @ferociousfem here with my last post for the semester, wow it’s been a ride! For my last post, I’m going to get a bit personal with you all because I’ve honestly had enough of this and I’m over it. Again, this is my personal opinion so I apologize in advance if I offend anyone.
Recently, I was asked to submit a piece of work to a panel based on my experience here at James Madison University, as a black student at a predominantly white institution (PWI). If the submission is chosen it will be on display in a gallery on campus in one of the academic buildings by the Africana Studies department for Black History Month. At first, I was convinced I had it in the bag, I was just writing about being me– wrong– I struggled coming up with something to submit. I was so frustrated with trying to write something new I even asked if I could submit an old poem I wrote last year but it didn’t include being black so it wasn’t accepted. — Hang in there y’all I’m getting to the point.
Why? Why is it that we’re in 2018 and I need to tell my “story” of being black. Why is this a trending topic? I do not owe my story to anyone and quite frankly no one deserves it. Why is it when I enter spaces as a black woman on campus I must automatically have the same opinion as another black student on campus? NEWSFLASH — I don’t.
Also, just because I identify as black doesn’t mean I want to discuss my experience as being black like I’m some sort of foreign being and I want my non-POC (person of color) counterpart to “take me to their leader”.
— I’m just joking, but I’m also very serious.
Still don’t know where I’m coming from? Let me shed some light for you with an example, I know I am not alone with this experience either but guess what, no one has to share if they don’t want to. Because as a minority we don’t owe you or anyone, anything.
My sophomore year I was enrolled in a general education class, History and we were required to have a small discussion portion in addition to the lecture. Surprise, surprise, I am the only POC in the class. I honestly don’t remember exactly what we were discussing but I think it was about slavery and on the spot, the professor looked to me for my opinion on the matter as if there weren’t other capable students of shedding their opinion. This professor might’ve thought he had a great intention but it certainly didn’t give that impact and as a result, I dropped the class and found a better fit for me. Looking back now I should’ve gone to the professor and let him know that made me uncomfortable but young me wasn’t comfortable doing that and if you were in my shoes would you have been? Why was it my job to do that anyway?
Anyway, please do not get me wrong, I love being black and I’m so damn proud of it but why is that the only thing I’m identified as when I walk in the spaces that I do. Now, please do not get this confused with color-blindness. Yes, I am black.
I’m also a woman, a Christian, cis-gendered, able-bodied and plenty of other identities that make me, ME, besides my blackness. — As an ally stop making POC talk about their experiences and if you don’t think you’re an ally you have another thing coming and I don’t have the time for that– tonight, anyway.
It’s been a great semester and I wish everyone luck on their finals! @ferociousfem out!
Photo Creds: https://unsplash.com/photos/Mx4auh5zO4w