I don’t believe in being colorblind.
The idea of viewing the world through this lense erases the beauty that comes from being different in race, culture, and color. It downplays the struggle of generations and it demeans the value of whole groups of people. We should not be colorblind. We should build one another up through our differences. Paul describes the church as being different parts of one body all with different roles as a result. ( See 1 Cor. 12:12-27 ) As a result, I’m not going to live my life in an attempt to fit in with the categories that have been placed on values in our culture today.
The common phrases “act black” (which has become synonymous with ghetto) or “act white” demean the positive actions of those in our race by claiming that we aren’t acting as if we are a part of it. Growing up with a love of knowledge and being set apart academically through Gifted and Talented or Advancement Placement courses I experienced this treatment first hand. I have members of my own family who refer to my speech as “sounding white” or the way I dress as “dressing white”. I find it to be a sad reflection of the way we view ourselves. If I choose to speak in a manner that reflects my education (as it should naturally), I am “acting white”. So, what is truly being said is by speaking with correct grammar, I am not acting black. To take this one step further, the mindset is black people don’t speak properly.They are saying that as black people we must act a certain way. Well, I didn’t get that memo.
I believe that we as a people have every right as other groups of people to succeed and be true to ourselves. We do not have to play into the lies that the media has fed us about our people as thieves, prostitutes, dangerous men and promiscuous women. These ideals are not from us. These ideals were placed on us. Our men have always been strong and demonstrated leadership. Our men were a threat. They believed we are dangerous, so we were taught to believe it too. Our women are beautiful, strong and have sensual figures. We were a threat to the “traditional American family” because our women were raped from the slave ships to the plantations. They told us, we are promiscuous to avoid the guilt and shame that comes from not being chosen and over time we believed it too. Similar to our men we even began to play into the roles on our own-puppets in a show that continues long after the 140 years of captivity have passed.
So, I do not believe in being colorblind. What is that, but a cover-up used to ignore the centuries of oppression my people have felt? What is being colorblind, but a justification that you as black aren’t enough. You aren’t right. You are broken. You must be grey or we must all be white. I disagree. We must re-educate ourselves on the beauty of our people. We must remember the slave days, and our time in Africa with reverence. We must teach ourselves WHO WE ARE. I choose to live in a world of vivid color, not one of grey because I don’t believe my skin is a curse or source of shame. I believe my brown skin is a gift from God that points to a purpose and provides a new much needed perspective on His love in this world.
Initially, I aimed to be ambitious for the sake of others.I grew up in a small town in Arkansas that didn’t offer many oppoutrunities fro success. I was born to teenage parents, a very young mother and a father who struggled with addiction. My family was a family of tough love….
I don’t want anybody to give me love, just give me my constitutional rights. - Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson
We do not beg for civil rights as crumbs from the table of democracy. We insist on our right to sit at the table. - Juanita Jackson Mitchell