Race & Identity
A reflection on my hopelessness, anxiety and black girl magic
Photo: Courtesy of authorThis is the message I sent my boss when she asked me how I was doing. Still, days later, I struggle to make sense of my emotions. I feel numb in some moments. In other moments, I feel like a heavy weight is sitting on top of my chest making it hard to breathe. Every single breath I inhale deeply to assure myself that I'm truly alive.I think about Jesse Williams saying "Just because we're magic doesn't mean we're not real," over and over in my mind. I reflect on my own idea of my Black Girl Magic and how many in America will never view the men we birth as magical, valuable and beautiful. I feel the weight of the petty arguments I have with my boyfriend. I think "We can't leave the house angry because I have no idea who he will encounter today. What if his last memory would be of a fight between us?"
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I feel the pain in the world suffocating me. My appetite is also changing. I find myself less hungry. Less hungry for food, sex and life. My despair keeps me company and holds me closely at night making it unbearable to sleep. I wake up restless. There are about two minutes of sincere happiness and then I remember my reality. I remember the world I live in. I check my social media and my despair is confirmed. Images of bodies, faces, human beings with the words "Rest In Peace, Black Lives Matter" haunt me. I become angry at people and companies who choose to post cats, clothes and selfies as they ignore our pain. Photo: TiffanyTriumph via InstagramI Google "safe places for black people to live in the U.S." I Google "Best places for African Americans to live in the world." The thought of attaining citizenship overwhelms me. The thought of being so far away from my family saddens me. I sigh. I cry. My skin becomes hot. I check social media again. This time to see protests occurring, as they do every time. I decide I'm not going. I decide the media doesn't care. I think white people don't care about our protests, that oppressors don't care. I think about solutions to end racism. I come up with two. I believe it's either a radical revolution or we take the black dollar back and put it into our communities. I look up ways to support black businesses. I find A LOT of resources and I smile. This is the only thing that has made me smile other than the picture below. Photo: InstagramI go to a party to celebrate 66 years of black love. I ask my boyfriend to take me because I am afraid to be alone. I'm afraid to be trapped in a room with my own thoughts. I want to focus on love and celebrate life. I can't deal with another day of hopelessness. Naturally, as the party progresses, we decide to have a conversation about police brutality in America. People express their pain and anger. I find myself overwhelmed by another conversation on brutality. I go to dinner at a black-owned business with my lover to escape and attempt to decompress. As we listen to old Amerie songs playing in the background, a gentleman sitting adjacent bluntly asks us, "So, how do you feel about Dallas?"