This has been something I wondered about for years. I’ve witnessed every other racial community do it in all aspects from career choices to living situations and more; from white folk to Mexican people. Now, I’m not saying we in the Black African American community do not do it, but I honestly wish we did it noticeably more. Not for show, not for others, but for ourselves. I’m talking about encouraging, supporting, and uplifting one another in all [positive] things we do. Not after we have made strides and accomplished things. Not when we are in a rough patch and it just seems nice to do.
It has always struck me strange when I show support or encourage my peers in something they are pursuing or are passionate about like music or moving for better opportunities or even something like a hobby they may not have ever taken seriously I get responses like “thanks,” “really?,” or “are you serious?” Yes I’m serious. And why do I not get the same support from these same peers? We are a talented bunch in our community and some times I honestly feel we sale ourselves short. Why do we do that? Why do we act surprised when someone notices, appreciates and supports our talent?
Two real life examples: Okay, I’m a little Black girl from the hood who loves to write and who would like to have a marriage BEFORE children. I’ve heard everything (regarding my writing and my news packages) from “who knew you could talk like that/knew those big words,” “you write/sound like a white person,” or one that really shocked me, “I never knew black people liked writing, I can’t stand it.” Mind you, all of these comments came from black “friends” of mine. Hmm. Let’s continue. In terms of my views of marriage and children (for myself), I’ve heard “yeah right, you’ll be next [expecting a baby].” -_- Really though? Why couldn’t these black folks of my immediate community just uplift me? Encourage me? And support my personal decisions in MY life? What’s so hard about that? I’m confused.
Okay next example. A girl I went to high school with posted a poem/note about R&B on her Facebook page. I complimented her, because 1) I agreed/understand/feel what she was saying in her write; 2) She is my friend and I support my peeps!; 3) She is doing something positive and sharing her talent. She replied to me ” … Be having ya girl feel all talented.” Uh, yeah, it’s because you are! Was she joking with me or was she serious? Either way, why? I did not ask her whether she was or not, because my mind took off. If joking, why joke about your talent? If serious, why question someone’s support of you, especially a friend? Now I’m not bashing her at all, this just brought forward those feelings that I’ve been brushing back time and time again and got me thinking; Do we not support, encourage, uplift each other enough that when one does it is odd and foreign to us that we joke or shut it down instead of being thankful or appreciative of the love and support?