My parents came to the United States in the early 70’s because they believed they could raise their family in the land of opportunity and equality. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of opportunities, but due to the inequities in the United States, about 30% of us are fighting for these opportunities. Moreover, the majority gets these opportunities handed to them. Fast forward to 2016; my parents do not regret their decision to move to the United States, but they live with the fear that no matter how well the raised their children, we are walking targets. If not by a stray bullet, at the hands of those meant to protect us. And unfortunately, not just at the hands of law enforcement.
No matter how you dice it, black people are facing some of the greatest threats to their livelihood. If not by the bullet, we are still attacked. I live in a neighborhood where corner stores, liquor stores, and fast-food chains outnumber the number of supportive services and access to healthy foods. It hurts me to look at neighboring cities. Instantly you notice the different in a town that is less than 2 miles away. From healthy food options to reasonable dialogue with their city leaders, they are thriving. The only thing that is different between my neighborhood and theirs is the color of our skin, which often prevents us from getting that opportunity.
As a lifestyle blogger, I am always talking about the inequities in clothing or the way mainstream media treats plus size women. But today I’m highlighting something far more important: the mistreatment of my people because of the color of their skin. Some say that since we are no longer in chains and whipped, we are free. But they way I see it, the shackles are invisible, but the pain still hurts. We have ripped apart from our families. We face trauma every day and aren’t equipped with the support services to deal with this.
As a Black Studies Minor, I can go on and on about some of the systemic issues that have been put in place to make us fail. But today, I just want to bring awareness to everyone. I want everyone to realize that we are more than just online personalities/influencers. We are the color of our skin. We are what you see before I utter a single word. We are BLACK. When I proposed this to my friend, she told me “Aren’t you afraid you may lose business because you are promoting such a controversial topic?” No–not at all. Tomorrow is not promised, and if you are black–you have a slimmer chance.
A big thank you to Femi of In Fashion I Trust for providing this creative outlet for us bloggers to reflect. To participate, please tag #BloggersForBlackLives wearing your all black apparel to stand in solidarity for this awareness project!
Also, a huge shout out to Thorton Paul for collaborating with on this shoot. A huge shoutout to Youtheary Khmer! She is activist/designer/all around amazing person!
Be your brother’s keeper!