Dear Sista Friend,
Everyday is a constant reminder that being Black in a America means to be in a constant battle. When I turn on the news, I am reminded of the high price of Black skin. I scroll down my Facebook feed and see a number of tirades discussing the latest news regarding violence, abuse, and mistreatment towards Black people. I am tired.
After Michael Brown’s death, I became consumed with the news and social media. I needed to know what was going on in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Black news, more than I cared to know about what was happening in my own life. I became a Black social media soldier, occasionally telling off anyone who would dare post any status in opposition and disdain of Black lives. Eventually this became exhausting. Explaining to people why #BlackLivesMatter and why Black bodies deserve a fighting chance in this country became overwhelming and tiresome. Eventually I realized that I was speaking to a brick wall of people who had no interest in seeing me or my people as human and worth the space that we occupy.
I became emotionally exhausted from speaking about Black pain and being constantly inundated with Black death. Little by little, I had to step away from social media. It took me a while to realize that our Blackness needs no defending. My time is better spent empowering and uplifting Black people, not defending our worth to people who have no concern about our wellbeing.
Sista friend, when the going gets tough remember that your voice is necessary in this fight.
When engaging our ignorant friends on social media, remember:
- Communicating through social media is tough. It is easy to misinterpret or misunderstand meanings and intentions.
- Some people may not always understand or agree with you. Speak your peace, and move on.
- Reevaluate deleting your ignorant friends. Your social media space should be a safe place, but it also serves the purpose of educating and engaging people in unexpected ways.
- Don’t forget to turn it off and unplug. Saturate yourself with Black beauty and goodness. Despite media representation, it is out there. I promise!
Overall, know that these conversations are draining and that your mind and sanity need protecting too. Remember that our Blackness is strong and powerful and needs no defending.
Your Sista Friend,