I Am More Than My Suffering; I Am Also Joy

Tuesday, June 30

By Aliyah Reese

In the past month I've noticed an emergence in consuming knowledge on how to become a better ally.  This ally ship needs to be two-fold. While many of you are consuming information on the suffering me and my people have endured in this country, there needs to be the realization that we are more than this as well.  We are not only our suffering.  Celebrate our joy as well. 

Don't get me wrong, it’s great that non-Black people are educating themselves on the atrocities that have gone on in this country and learning the ways in which racism is systemic; but you also need to consume different types of media as well. By only educating yourself on my suffering you are essentially ignoring my joy as well. When you look at me, 'don't tell me how sorry you feel for me' or try and shove the ways you are advocating for minorities. 

You need to SHOW IT.

Show it in the way you appreciate Black people in this country.

Show it in the way you are consuming Black art and joy.

Show it in the way that you are expanding what media you consume.

Show it by questioning why there aren't Black people in the shows or movies you watch. 

Show it in the way that you are supporting Black businesses. 

Being an ally goes beyond recognizing that me and my ancestors have suffered.  I know it and I don't need validation for it. This is a time for societal change in every way, shape, and form.  There needs to be a structural rebranding of everything that is in our society and the work doesn't stop here. Black people are only part of the puzzle and every minority needs to be recognized and SEEN in this country.  

I want to end this by saying this is only a PSA.  It is not my job or even desire to layout step by step the ways in which I and other minorities need to be seen. The resources are available.

Read, watch, and learn. 


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