7 Simple Rules for Being Black and Happy in America
The odds are stacked against us, but we don’t have to let them keep us down.
Several years ago, someone suggested to me that a writer can measure their success by how many angry comments they receive. I don’t know if that’s true, but it never ceases to amaze me how far some readers will go to unleash their anger directly at me. The most common trigger is a predictable one: anything I write involving race that makes White people look less than perfect.
I’m not on Twitter or Instagram, so readers who feel compelled to communicate with me outside of the comments have to come up with creative ways to find me. A friend warned me when I started blogging that the ones who bothered to reach out usually would have something negative to say, and boy, was she right. The last person who tracked me down accused me of always playing the victim (yawn!), as if pointing out obstacles while clearing them automatically makes someone a victim.
Don’t Believe the White Lie About Angry Black Victims
It’s time to flip that tired script about why we fight for our race.
He also suggested that instead of focusing on all the ways White people disappoint me and thereby encouraging other Black people to see themselves as victims, I should offer hope to my people. I don’t think he actually cared about lifting up Black people — he just wanted me to shut the hell up so he could return to his regularly scheduled ignorance.
Despite the victimization frequently assigned to us by White people who would rather read fluff that doesn’t force them to look in the mirror, Black people are among the most hopeful Americans. That’s why we fight so hard.
But maybe he was on to something. While spreading sunshine and light isn’t my job, here’s a little bit of both: Being Black can be beautiful if beautiful is what you see when you look in the mirror. Despite the victimization frequently assigned to us by White people who would rather read fluff…