I don’t have to imagine being a black woman because I am! I have been in life’s valley lows and I have stood on the mountain tops of some of life’s greatest victories. The burdens and pains that I carried have caused my body to bow in agony, yet I lift my head because I am an awesome black woman. With that being said, when in the words of Martin Luther Kings “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m Free at Last.” Delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963, makes me wonder will we ever be totally free. Under the civil rights movement during the 1950 and 1960, the struggle for social justice for blacks to gain equal rights under the law had abolished slavery. But that didn’t stop discrimination against blacks, nor the illusion of being invited to the party but not being asked to dance. Subsequently, it created a smoke screen to make one believe that we fit into that little black box. Actually, this elite party has made very little headway in the words of equality, equity, justice, and inclusion.
We have been hung and died for it, we have been raped and beaten for it, we have been criticized and ostracized for it, yet we have come a long way from hiding in the outhouses and under the trenches, to learn how to read, to sitting in the same classroom taking turns reading out loud. From picking cotton in the fields with a whip to our backs, to sitting in the same office meetings helping to write the grants to help our people, only now the whips are invisible; got us singing “ A change is gonna come” by Sam Cook. This may sound like some old cliché, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and no I am not some angry black woman mad at the world. However sitting at the table shoulder to shoulder we give up our secrets of survival, of how we got over. We offer up suggestions on how to help the homeless, help stop human trafficking, help with aids prevention, and increase breastfeeding and obesity awareness in our communities. Then our information is taking, compiled in a database for research; the grants are written and we are given a $5.-$25. Walmart card to say thanks. A gatekeeper is placed at the entrance, “a token “of appreciation, and only a select few get the job. I wonder is it how well we say “Massa?”
This is only a question, how come our inner cities filled with beautiful colors, are not filled with those same colors when I walk through the door of an organization that I helped you build? Why do we only have one black researcher at each organization compiling information to study our blackness? Why is it that in our black communities we are bullied by our white counterparts in those same organizations that we helped you write the grant for, “tiptoe lightly or else you will be replaced,” all of this after we let you in. Why are we still that token written in your grant; you must hire at least one to receive the “Money.” The illusion that you care about my blackness helps to keep your lights on, while our communities get to spend their gift card on diapers, salami and a ½ loaf of bread.
I’m not an angry black woman, I am an awesome beautiful black queen that would like to know why do you lie and go on your company paid conferences to address disparities, but when you walk through the door of the grand hotel, you dismiss the man on the corner, "can you spare a dime?" Why do you talk about the black me in your conferences, but I'm not invited. In a sea of colorless people, can we truly address the elephant in the room? Will we ever be totally, FREE AT LAST?
Angela S Kennedy-Lovett