So it’s three days into the New Year and I’m feeling good! New year, new beginnings, new resolutions I hope to remember throughout the year (haha!). Just scrolling along on my Instagram I see this meme on a “Pro-Black” page saying: “DRINK WATER. MARRY BLACK. STOP EATING MEAT. START A BUSINESS. BUY SOME GUNS. MAKE BLACK BABIES. FEED YOUR FAMILY.” Now, looking at this and reading it twice I thought, “marry black? …well what if I fall in love with someone who isn’t black?”. I scrolled through some comments and see someone else posting what I’m thinking. The owner of the page had some interesting reasons for this idea (“because the Jewish community does the same thing”)… and after I posted my comments defending the person and making a statement all on my own it became a random debate on what it means to be black in 2020. The year 2020, a new decade ripe for fresh new ideas. We’re only three days in so instant revolution isn’t going to be possible. However, turning the clock back to the era of “whites/coloreds only” should be able to be prevented. What does being black mean? What does it mean to be black? And for me it’s more: what does it mean to be a black woman? Even more than that: what does it mean to be an alternative black woman? Being black for me has always been a struggle. I used to try to prove myself to other kids at school that I was black — even to my white friends. A million cringe-worthy moments later I stopped trying to prove what I knew to be true and just lived my truth. I AM black. I’m black my way. I don’t have to fit anyone’s mold or stereotype to get through the day. Harriet Tubman didn’t “fit the mold” either. Neither did Rosa Parks, or Malcolm X, or anyone from the Black Panther Party. They were black in a world where it was illegal to be black. In this new world it’s come down to black people coming after their own for being different (hmmm “hating someone for being different”, I wonder where they got that idea from… *message!*).
I was mostly questioned by other black people about my blackness. Because I was into metal, loved anime, and horror movies. That was considered “white people shit”. Even my own mother would say it, it never ended. [Cut to Sofia in The Color Purple] All my life I had to fight… to be black. Does “being black” mean that I can’t listen to metal? Better tell Slash then. And William Duvall from Alice in Chains. Don’t forget Lajon Witherspoon from Sevendust. Or two-thirds of Ho99o9. We also need to go back in time to tell Jimi Hendrix that it’s all over. Does “being black” mean that I have to “go along to get along”? Be like everyone else? Fuck my individuality? Oops! Better let Raisa Flowers, the baddest alternative black chick and makeup artist I’ve seen in years, know. And alternative black model Tiara “Barbie” Kelly aka The Queen of Cannabis and ASMR… dickheads (haha!). Other Instagram pages and outlets like @AFROPUNK and @Punk.Black have been out there showcasing the alternative black culture for years.
Telling someone how to “be black” is nothing but a detriment to black culture and black society as a whole. “The Doll Test” is a haunting reminder of where the black psyche can go when it’s been bombarded with negative feelings about itself. Why contribute to such a feeling? “You’re not black if you… (fill in the blank)” has no purpose other than to put someone down because their blackness doesn’t match your blackness. “Being black” isn’t about what music you like, or what you watch on TV, and it certainly isn’t about telling someone else who they are (or who to marry based on race). My blackness is defined by my individuality. My expressiveness and my energy. Being black for me is about standing up for what I believe in and for the people I love. Being black is about being LOUD as FUCK! Saying that “I’m here and I’m not going anywhere!”. Being black is about being informed and educated to make the future better for the next generation. Being black is about being uplifting and loving. Being black is a vibe.
It doesn’t matter who you’re with or married to, being black has to do with YOU as an individual. This idea of being a “sell-out” or “not black enough” because your heart chose someone of another race is outdated to say the least. So being black and marrying someone of a different race (especially now) shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion — it’s none of your business (unless it’s a child bride… then that’s an issue). You want to tell Ice-T — lead singer of Rap-Metal band Body Count with the infamous single “Cop Killer” he’s “not black” because he’s married to Coco (a non-black person)? Didn’t think so.
It is now a new decade — the year 2020. It’s not the 60’s or earlier when black and white people couldn’t be together. We are free (until this war supposedly hits… I don’t fucking know what’s going on in the White House but… yikes!). So why not live free, be ourselves, and love who we want? Sounds like being black to me. And if you don’t “approve of” or “like” the way I’ve chosen to be black… you can kiss my black ass (hahaha!)
Below is a little photobook of me being black my way (haha!) and the screenshots of the entire interaction between me and the “Pro-Black” page on Instagram. Oh yeah… mama’s got all the receipts (journalism 101). Tell me about how you like to express your individuality as a black person on Instagram @MFKNZINE
What My Blackness Looks Like: