Everyday were given is another day to get it right or at least be better than the day before. We all have taken so much for granted lately and living to see another day is a blessing itself.
Recently I was cleaning out my garage and I found some of my old test scores, old stories I wrote, transcripts, letters of recommendation from my English teacher. It suddenly dawned on me that I was supposed to be doing so much more for myself than I am, and it made me sad.
I mean all my life I have always scored extremely high in reading and language arts but my scores show me being ahead grade level. Growing up I was always reading and studying because somewhere along my life I realized that I had to work harder than my white classmates, that I had to work at least twice as hard to break even with them even if I was smarter than most I wasn’t always treated as such. I remember times when teachers were shocked that I could read above my reading level at least by 2 grades. Why wasn’t I pushed to keep going? Instead I was pulled down to be on the level of the rest of the class, but nobody spoke up. I had no allies except for my 5th grade librarian who allowed me to leave class and come help shelve books with her. Ms. Mac spotted my love for books inside me when nobody did, and I have her to thank for my first love.
Because we are so use to being over looked by educators we often prepare our kids with these same outlooks. We have to hold our kids to different standards especially our black daughters.
I remember having the conversation with my oldest daughter in elementary school telling her, she had to be the smartest in the classroom, and the fastest on the softball field to even be seen as equal to her white classmates.
It wasn’t until her 7th grade year she hit a home run during a very important school game first one on the team to do it. The crowd cheered and were in awe but it wasn’t something new to her dad and I, we had seen it before, but the coach and other parents congratulated us for our good work and we beamed proudly. After that first home run every time she got up to bat, they pressured her to hit a homer every time and during that game it was too much pressure and she choked, she was devastated and I was furious. None of the other kids were hitting balls over the fence but they expected mine to deliver one every time but never pressed their own kids to deliver one not to mention she was expected to catch every ball and tag every out. She would wear herself out. She struck out and walked defeated back with her head down into the dugout I went to the fence for one of our pep talks. I don’t remember word for word but I know I told her to, “lift her f**king head up, she could not carry the whole team and she can’t win them all and I didn’t expect her too. Softball was supposed to be fun and it was not for her anymore because it was a chore. I wanted her to do what she loved and have fun with it. I was proud of her know what as long as she tried. None of the other kids was doing any better than she did.”
As parents we forget the amount of pressure, we put on our kids to carry our race or to prove themselves to people who don’t matter anyway. Are other races intimated by some blacks, yes, but that’s not our issues that’s their problem? I never want my kids to feel like that have to be held to a different standard because of the because of the race box they have to check. Truth is most of us never get to have a childhood because of this pressure. It’s all a part of preparing our kids for the world to keep the evils from chewing them up and spitting them back out. We teach them that the “STREETS” don’t love nobody.
I never again want to single my kids or any kids out with the amount of pressure that has been put on us in the past. We get held to a higher standard because of our race, and we still get overlooked. I remember hearing my daughter’s teacher saying that a test was so hard “the little Asian girl had a hard time with it.” Sounds racist, huh?
I had a conversation with an older white man about black boys being afraid to speak up in class, therefore, they are treated like special education, like they can’t learn. And well, being smart isn’t cool or that they might be made fun of if they showed how educated they really are.
I say all of this to say, it’s hard enough being black and female but when we will be allowed to just be us? Black lives Matter, is not saying a lot it is just simply asking to be acknowledged, when we deserve so much more. We deserve to be looked at just as equally as every other human race. We have fought and marched and protested for things that should be a given like stop killing our unarmed innocent men and women. The more we protest the more it happens and we just seem to get over it.
Our kids deserve to be kids and they shouldn’t have to be overachievers just to be average, its tiring for them and the mounting pressure is not fair to us.
Our men deserve to be men without be viewed at as threatening.
Our women deserve equal pay.
We are tired.
End of story.