I don’t typically write “how-to” posts because…meh. But I wanted to switch it up and have a little fun. Of course, I’m such a Serious Sally, (is that a thing?) that naturally I’m writing about how to create a more conscious You.
What I love about Black consciousness is that it is taking on a whole new persona. It’s almost trendy and it’s definitely becoming normalized. The stereotype that Black people don’t care or aren’t truly awake is slowly fading. So what can you do to hop in this rolling Black Cadillac of Consciousness?
Be Open-Minded & Accepting
We have to drop our fear of other people’s “otherness” in order to really advocate for our community as a whole. The Black Lives Matter movement is about men, women, trans lives, children, and our opportunities to move up the socioeconomic ranks. If a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, what does that say about our community’s struggle and the individuals down for Black lives but only the ones that meet their specific criteria of comfort? I’m not saying you need to love on everyone and be BFFs but it wouldn’t kill you to keep the derogatory comments about your brothers and sisters to yourself.
Switch Up Your Twitter Feed
What’s dope about 2015 is you don’t need a TV as your sole medium of receiving the news and current events. The social media Gawds have given us Twitter and information has never been so convenient. So switch up your feed and follow accounts such as CNN, MSNBC, or your local news channel (never Fox News though, that gets you kicked out of the Cadillac). If you want a more in-depth perspective into stories and national issues check out HuffPost, The Root or the Atlantic. Also, take a step back before you retweet or tweet something, especially those account that relate to specifically to the “behaviors” of Black people. Those accounts get a major side-eye from me because they have a pretty common tendency to perpetuate and advance certain stereotypes. You’re probably saying “lighten up, it’s just twitter” but remember “it’s just rap music” has white boys all over the country calling y’all the n-word.
Introspection Into Your Personal and Professional Goals
I couldn’t think of anything more catchy or short to explain this one, but take a minute to think about what it is you like to do or what you’re studying or what you want to be when you grow up and consider how that impacts and relates to your community. Do you want to be a doctor or be involved in the medical field? Take some time to research health disparities between different income levels or communities of color. Are you business-minded? Use this opportunity to consider minority groups in small businesses or even minorities in bigger corporate settings. Maybe you’re an athlete, which is the perfect position to analyze how certain stereotypes play into how society views Black men in America. Helping your community can be easier than you think, and one of the best places to start is with what you know and what you’re interested in.
Yeup, I said it, and I said it in my Hurricane Chris voice. It’s okay to get ratchet and have fun. Self-awareness is a fundamental step into consciousness and if you think it’s fun to twerk with your friends or get buck while listening to Waka Flocka then by all means get. ratchet. I recall seeing tweets from organizers on the ground in Ferguson last fall reading that they were playing Lil Boosie out loud and that “the movement lives.” Ratchet is one of those words that has a very negative stigma depending on how you use it, while I don’t condone using “ratchet” or “ghetto” to portray someone in a negative light, I think the mindset has a fun kind of aggressiveness about it that is very telling about Black consciousness today and reclaiming our identities; defining ourselves how we want to. Forget respectability politics. Act in Unapologetic Blackness.
Share, Share, Share.
We are undeniably in the age of sharing and consciousness only does so much when you keep it to yourself. Activism and awareness is rooted in spreading knowledge and not being afraid to speak up or act out against injustice in whatever form. So don’t hold back in sharing, conversing, discussing, or even planning around things that matter to you and your community.
Do you have tips on creating a more conscious mindset for yourself or your peers? Share them in the comments or tweet me @AGtheGiant !