Happy Black History Month by Arielle Moore

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Happy Black History Month

  1. You will want to peel your skin. Scream. Choke throats. And kick as you struggle to breath amongst a locker-room full of whiteness.

  2. There are few like us. Cling to your black sisters for dear life. Talk to them. Rant to them. Keep those conversations dear to your heart. Cherish black sisterhood.

  3. You will feel alone. You will be alone.

  4. No one will ever understand you. No one will ever understand us. No one will understand.

  5. You are angry.You have anger in you. You want to be angry. You deserve to be angry.

  6. You will suffocate as you try to hold on to your black pride. Self-hate constantly attempting to seep into your bloodstream. Jealousy nudging at your skull.

  7. You will cringe as friends and acquaintances touch your hair without asking. Your kinky, sacred curls being touched by unwanted hands.

  8. You will be angry at white friends who witness the ignorance, microaggressions, pain, and decide to sit silently.

  9. You will be angry at the white boy who said the n-word to you. You will be angry that hegets to walk free, while you carry the pain with you every day. You want to hit him. You want to hit him again.You want to hit him. You want to hit him. You want to hit him. You want to hit him. You just want to ask him why? Why did you never ask him why?

  10. You will be angry at those who’ve heard about the incident, and have done nothing. They give him hugs and share laughs with him. They will forget your pain. They will forget our pain, as they’ve always forgotten.

  11. You will be extremely disappointed in his black friends. You will be disappointed in your friends.

  12. You will be mad at yourself for not doing more.

  13. You will cringe at all-white parties. You will cringe as they play “Lipgloss” by Lil Mama for the two-hundred-and-fifty-seventh-thousandth time.

  14. You will cringe at white feminists. You will despise white feminism.

  15. You will always remember watching slavery videos in U.S. History class and looking around to see only one other black person in the room.

  16. You will be shocked at the lack of attraction for black girls from black boys.

  17. You will be saddened at the lack of attraction for dark-skinned girls.

  18. You will despise the fetishization of black boys by white girls.

  19. You will despise your own fear. You will hate yourself for not speaking up. You will hate yourself for not being brave. You will feel as though you’ve let your ancestors down.

  20. You will remember the lack of black art. You will remember the lack of black space. You will remember the lack of black breath.

  21. You will remember Black Cabaret and the Black Student Union. You will remember your performances. You will remember the black love. The lack of support from the students. The empty seats. The black cast. The black talent. You will remember your black family.

  22.  You will remember the “white saviors”. The ones who tried to tell your story. The ones who tried to steal your voice.

  23. You will remember the few black teachers. You will remember the black subs. You will remember their words. You will remember their comfort. You will remember the familiarity.

  24. You will remember the August Wilson plays, Huckleberry Finn, and Native Son. You will remember the discussions. You will remember your thoughts. You will know how you feel now.

  25. You will remember the ignorant remarks, microaggressions, problematic comments, awkward silences, awkward pauses, and the tension. You will remember the teachers who said those things.

  26. You will remember the compliments. You will wonder if they truly meant it when they said it. Did they really like your hair? Do they really find black women beautiful? Why?

  27. You will question your worth.

  28. You will remember your last Black History Month in high school. You will remember how people forgot it was Black History Month, or didn’t care. You will remember the Black Diaspora panel that you attended on the last day of February. You will remember the panelists’ advice, their confidence, their passion, their intelligence, and the tea they spilled. You will look at them and feel hopeful. You will come home content. Happy Black History Month. Happy Black History Forever.