Imagine living in a country where you never fit into what is considered the norm in society… This is my story as a first-generation as a Haitian American black girl brought up in an affluent white neighborhood.
I was never enough.
I was never Haitian enough because I didn’t speak the native language.
I was never black enough because I didn’t use slang, or I spoke “too white” among my black peers.
I never fit in with my white peers because, to them, black people were only black if they were involved in gangs or came from a broken home.
None of that matters to me. I saw my identity as a strong girl who came from a family filled with greatness.
And I found myself on the verge of suicide.
Exactly a year ago, I was in Home Depot to purchase a rope and a stepping stool.
I went home, sat in my closet, and wrote out my good-bye letters to my friends and family. I also texted a special person in my life; these words: “I don’t know what’s wrong, I want to die.”
In less than three hours, that special person found his way from Wisconsin to Florida and spent the next three days showing me that my life matters. He was the one who helped me realize that I matter. At that moment, he saved my life.
He was able to save my daughter from losing a mother.
He saved my parents from burying me.
He was able to save my body, so my boyfriend could place a ring on my finger.
That special person was a white conservative Captain police officer.
We live in a society where cops are described as pigs or evil, and as a black woman, I can’t bring my mouth to speak those words. I cannot say it because a police officer not only saved my life not once but twice.
Let’s fast forward to today, where skin color determines the loyalty of a movement.
I understand the hurt and cry of my black people.
I have been called a Ni***; I’ve had people look at me and determined what my worth was to them. I have been pulled over because I looked suspicious in my own neighborhood. Growing up in my grade school, I was told that my beautiful, kinky hair wasn’t deemed “unkept” in their standards. I was told that I wasn’t good enough or be good enough to exist in their world.
If you really think racism doesn’t exist, think again.
There is a reason why black people are angry and tired. We are not being overdramatic, but we want acknowledgment of the flaws in our society.
Black life matters means that we exist in your world.
We want to be part of the future and to acknowledge that things are not the same for all. The ultimate goal of the movement is to make all lives matter, but we have to start here first. It lets the world know that EVERY individual of society matters in the world. No matter where they come from; no matter the color of their skin.
It means my life is determined by who I am as a person not what color I am.
Finally, this is to all my white friends and any white person who reads this message. I love you and respect you as a person.
I do not blame you for the actions of anyone who has hurt me or my people.
I do not blame you for the actions of your ancestors.
You will never find the right things to say or do. All you can do is listen to outcry from your peers. You can be the movement by trying to understand the pain.
I know there are good people out there because my life partner is a white man.
He has made my daughter love her kinky hair. When the sun hits my skin I can now see the glow he sees in me.
At the end of the day, all I want is to sit in the same room and be viewed with the same eyes as everyone does. To be accepted and loved.
– just a black woman