In November 2008 I was just 4 months shy of the voting age and significantly worried that if I didn’t vote our country would lose it’s chance at the First Black President. This was more about fulfilling the civic duty concept I had learned in AP US, than it was about me voting for the first time. Thankfully 52% of the country took care of that and got him in.
I remember being in my ceramics class when an outspoken, shaggy, blonde-headed boy, whom I had known since middle school was going off and commenting on Obama’s win in a way that made the thought cross my mind: “Holy sh*t, is he saying all this because Obama is Black? Why does this feel racially charged?”
Being 17 in the suburbs, national race relations weren’t at the front of my mind 24/7, but I knew when some racist sh*t was up.
I was surprised. I thought the country was more progressive than that, I thought Obama’s presidency would be the “Aha!” moment Black people had been waiting for when they finally got to uplift themselves out of these historically oppressive circumstances. Hilariously naïve, I know.
Truthfully, I thought Obama’s presidency would “fix” things. At this time I wasn’t reading or studying much and my surface level understanding of Black history in America allowed me to think this way. In college I was “radicalized” and involved in Black campus activism which reinforced the understanding that American race relations needed more than the remedy our First Black President could offer. Once I graduated I didn’t have much of an outlet, so I found blogging to be a way that I could process the truth behind this blossoming Movement. I was rapidly becoming more woke in this.
I started Black is the New Black in February of this year after receiving support in the form of a chance to guest post on a friend’s blog about the things I had been expressing regarding The Movement. I found it so fascinating that Black culture is so pervasive yet the community that pushes the culture is so demonized and I wanted to highlight that through my writing.
This November, though, was a lot. With Black college activism growing into a unified and national movement in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter Movement, and continued highlights of Black people being killed by cops and experiencing racism in it’s many forms, I just ended up very exhausted and borderline apathetic to protect my own sanity. Writing was becoming less of an outlet and less of a coping mechanism as it was becoming my only avenue to make an impact in the Movement, and it simply wasn’t enough.
I stopped writing all together to collect myself and have decided BITNB’s time has run out. But that doesn’t mean I’m done. I’m going to be taking some time to learn more about organizing and to strengthen the platform BITNB has created a foundation for. I want to create a blog that will show the community that we all have the activism within us and that it doesn’t look the same for everybody. I want to show the people that activism is more than the protest lines and what’s important first and foremost is that you stand for something, the title of the upcoming blog is Young, Black & Woke.
So if you stand for something – or are working on that – and want to learn more about Young, Black, & Woke, join my email list here and I will keep you updated!
Thank you so much to everyone that has supported my efforts this year.
Peace & #BlackLivesMatter