I’ve led an extraordinary life. I’ve felt loved and secure and had the opportunity to grow up unconcerned about my safety. There was no question that I would get my education and have a career. In my lifetime, I’ve been in countless situations in which I was the only Black person, or one of the few enough to count, in the room. That’s never been a problem for me. My experience, or any one person’s, is not everyone’s reality.
Today I feel the anguish, devastation, frustration, and horror of being Black in America. I worry about what might befall my young nephews, sons of friends, any black youth. And, nowadays, I fear for any Black person who is stopped by law enforcement or encounters armed citizens bent on brandishing their weapons.
This past year, we’ve been inundated with the images of Black people -- men, women, and kids -- thrown to the ground, screamed at as if they are inhuman, shot and killed, or dying in police custody. The reaction of far too many Americans that this is “okay” shows a need for real dialog that creates more questions and opportunities for each of us to share our thoughts, feelings, and dreams -- a chance to create understanding.
A safe place for conversation, people talking and people listening. That’s communicating in a rational way. With understanding comes change. There may be emotion. There may be tears and frustration. The opportunity for growth, understanding and peace are limited only by our openness and by our willingness to step outside our comfort zones.
Today’s blog post is my attempt to begin a conversation. It’s a start. No one has all the answers -- I sure don’t -- but we can begin. Questions and thoughtful, respectful comments and dialog are welcomed. Communicate with me and others through the blog. Share a post with someone else as a conversation starter. The aim is to create the possibility for insight and perspective. And understanding. We ARE all in this together.
~ xoA ~