Black people may not feel like explaining right now

The following are a collection of tweets, IG posts, and Facebook responses that I’ve shared over the last week. 

May 28th: Black Lives Still Matter

I haven’t said much because I’m still processing it all. Sifting between scriptures about justice and literary works by W. E. B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglass.

With each hashtag, my anger flickers a little bit more. I can physically feel it, but by the grace of God ALONE it doesn’t consume me. My journal has been housing these scattered thoughts for now.

What I do know is that they have never stopped killing us, but I will not live in fear of being BLACK.

I will continue to build and leverage platforms with our faces on it. I will continue to be at the table and have boots on the ground. I will continue to read. I will continue to create opportunities for others with a focus on Black people, women, and young people. I won’t stop.

Princeton University Distinguished Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. in 2019

May 29th: Murder is traumatic. Use social media wisely.

Don’t let the internet emotionally exploit you or your pain.

MURDER IS TRAUMATIC. Feel free to take time to process before you post. You’re not obligated to spill your raw emotions on social media and defend yourself in the comments. Awareness, allyship, and action occur off social media too.

For anyone who is not Black but wants to help: true allyship seeks knowledge, empathy, and action. Don’t expect Black people to coach or pacify you right now. Google what you can do and leverage your privilege to show up for us.

May 30th: Don’t take ownership of emotions that don’t belong to you.

I shared resources for how non Black people can participate in #BlackLivesMatter in the comment section of a sweet woman I met years ago. For context, she’s around my age and White. I am sharing to support my last post about not sharing your emotions until you feel comfortable. This was my response to the following question:
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“thank you for sharing! I would love to get to know more about your story Vannesia! How has being a woman of color impacted you personally? Feel free to message me if you don’t want to share publicly. I really think we all need to do better talking with each other to understand instead of telling each other how to think! 💙“

I prefer not to share, as I am still processing. I know it’s not your intention to exploit my feelings because I know you personally, and that’s not your heart. Rarely do I jump in comment sections because I have been explaining and fighting all of my life. But, I know the beautiful weight that comes with being Black and I don’t shy away from it.

The narrative of Black people (and particularly Black women) is widely shared via comments, riots, marches, petitions, hashtags, literary works, etc. It’s not hard to find, but you do have to listen. Rather than hear from me, I would like to submit the following questions for your consideration:

1. What will non Black people do after hearing the Black narrative?

2. (a) How can non Black people support Black people even if they never understand the depth of their emotions and (b) are they ready to recognize and leverage their privilege to support?

3. How would hearing my personal story change a course of action for you?

You don’t have to answer in the comments and you can easily swap the causes out for the additional causes you mentioned. I am focusing on Black issues right now.

I am encouraging all of my non Black friends to own the work that needs to be done in particular to Black issues (starting with themselves) rather than relying on others to share their experiences directly and tell them what to do.

Black people are literally trying to stay alive while seeing trauma on a media loop. And that, my friend, is exhausting for us in and of itself. ❤️

May 30th: Take care of yourself.

Check your mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional health FIRST.

As I said before, do not look to Black people to coach or pacify anyone into allyship. We got a lot on our plate right now. If you want to help, the work to be done isn’t hard to find. Use Google, be sensitive, and listen.

We need boots on the ground just as much as we need seats at the table and money in the bank. It’s a lock arms effort that we can’t do alone.

Always speak life,

Vannesia

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