So I was standing on line waiting to head back to Jersey from the city and this Black man walked by and said those words: I don’t want to be Black today. Apparently, he was the first person waiting on line, left the line for a moment, and came back to a longer line than he obviously expected. His statement was in reference to him deciding to get to the back of the line rather than making a scene and getting in front.
He was right behind me so when he said that I laughed and struck up a small conversation; but on my ride back home what he said kept ringing in my head and I became upset. What does ‘being black’ have to do with losing your place in line???
I don’t want to be black today. Don’t make me get black. You lucky I ain’t acting black right now. These are all variations of the same idea, but what does it even mean? Why do we say it? How does it affect us?
These phrases give a negative connotation to the idea of being ‘black’. In the context of its use it’s synonymous to making a scene, being loud, going off, etc. We get offended when other races say the same thing about us but yet we have made it such a part of our colloquial that we don’t even realize we are inadvertently demeaning ourselves.
We don’t hear “Don’t let me get White” or “You lucky I ain’t acting Chinese right now”. If we’re going to turn “being black” into slang, at least let it mean something positive! We need to have more respect for ourselves and our community. We need to think twice before we say common phrases that hurt our image and then get offended when other races agree with that image.
Black is beautiful. Black is sophisticated. Black is intelligent.
If we begin to see ourselves that way others will too.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be Black everyday 🙂