HARD TO BE BLACK IN AMERICA

I have always lived in America and have been judged by the color of my dark skin.

I have always been treated as a second-class citizen, from society and by most of the members of my own family whose narrow, conservative American values prevented them from inspiring me to be a responsible citizen.

I have always been feared as a suspicious member of society, one to watch, observe and cautiously approach.

When I was feeling good about calling myself “Black”, I was reprimanded and told to call myself “African-American”, as if my branding was more important than adapting a more globally-based title for the emotional balance of my own personal identity

I have always been viewed as having no American history, other than being the a product of a lineage of servitude.

I have always been opposed to the negative Black American stereotype, have been ridiculed by other Black americans for ”acting white” while trying to conduct myself in a proper manner and told by conservative members of other races to “stop whining”.

I have seen art and culture by the Black American community bastardized for financial gain and have had to make moral decisions regarding my own artistic work and endeavours.

I have always been sexually generalized, objectified and exotisized and have been encouraged to maintain a misogynistic stereotype by members of both sexes.

I have always been ridiculed for not living up to “expected”, deplorable behavior and excommunicated from social circles for not being a “token”, or a “ballplayer”.

I have always had to walk carefully through affluent neighborhoods, tailoring my clothing and personal grooming to avoid altercations with Law enforcement and “enthused” citizens that might view me as a suspicious threat.

I have always had my inspiration and verve shattered by the exposition and exploitation of Black American tragedies, only to search for fragments of hope within myself in order to remain vigilant in maintaining a healthy mental state, a civil respect for women and people of all races, a strong sense of American patriotism and a positive outlook on the future.

I have always been Black in America and it has never been easy.

James Avatar




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