Yesterday, my friends stood at a #BlackLivesMatter protest and shouted for justice. Yesterday, my friends marched to the Mississippi bridge, and shut it down. No way in, no way out. Yesterday, my friends had a historical moment. No, I wasn’t there.
Yesterday, I was booked for an event. An event with good merit. An event put on and supported by black people. Now, don’t get me wrong, I cringe at the thought of missing a historical moment in our culture. The only thing I dread more than that is not being a part of that moment. But what would you do in that situation? I mean……I was supporting someone’s dream while supporting black owned businesses. I mean……we celebrated positivity and good energy while having fun. I mean……we were building our own legacy to uplift our culture.
But still, I’m not sure why I felt so guilty. And the crazy thing is, if given the opportunity, I would’ve done the same thing over and over. Then I realized it; NO, I was not there, but my love was there. My heart was there. My support was there. My energy was there. I made sure to check on my loved ones who were in the battlefield fighting the fight. My words comforted them, knowing they had a helping hand on the outside if needed. Maybe that was my contribution? Doesn’t sound like much, but when all we have is each other, that can mean the world in the right situation. But still, I wasn’t there.
Onlooking the event through my modern 5.7 inch cell phone screen, it was literally a flashback of all those civil rights movies I’d seen as a kid. “You weren’t born in slavery times; you weren’t subject to those conditions.” These are the types of things that people say who don’t have to live with the reality of centuries of oppression and handmedown poverty. No, I wasn’t there in those times. But, we still consequently deal with the generational effect of systematic wealth. My friend Xavier said it best; ” As black people in America, we’re a young race.” Many will completely overlook that statement, but in contrary, one day that statement will overlook them. Blacks in America have not had time to build wealth to pass down from generation to generation. This would build financial stability within the culture. Donald Trump was given 1 million dollars from his father to start a business; most of the young blacks coming up were not even given a car.
Now to my un-oppressed readers, please understand this; it is not your fault that slavery happened. It is not your fault that your were handed down money, land, and power. It is not your fault you were given the skin you are in. But DO understand that the effects are still being felt today. Imagine if the events of 9/11 happened everyday for 400 years. It is that amount of devastation that lives with us everyday. Understand that our mothers, fathers, and grandparents witnessed the events of the civil rights era first hand. In these times, they had strict, logical knowledge on how to survive in those times against the oppressing powers. “Don’t argue with white policemen. Don’t be rude to white people. Don’t get caught being black.” It was these teachings that were passed down to us. So as a youngling, we have already been instilled with a level of fear for white power. Again, I wasn’t there, I just feel the effects of the past of my ancestors.
Yesterday, I felt like I missed a part of making history. But after seeing all of my friends come home safe, I realized that I didn’t care…….the fight isn’t over. There will be days to come of freedom marching; there will be battles to be fought; there will be days where some of us won’t come home. No, I wasn’t there; and there will be times when you can’t be there, too. It’s OK. But do what you can to support the ones who WERE there and WILL BE there next time. Still…………….I wish I was there.
Written by: Coldway