Her voice echoed in the cafeteria as she declined her hate for black man. "I DO NOT WANT HIM! UGH NO! WITH HIS CRUSTY ASS. TURN THE LIGHTS OFF YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE HIM. HE IS DURTY. HE'S SOOOOOOOOO....
And in that moment I knew the words following would shatter his ego and launch another young kings hatred towards women. I knew that she had spoken death over his life. How could I blame either of them? I listened from a distance as it continued.
Three words highschool girls would use to describe the boys in the class they believed were inferior. But i knew to look deeper. to see beyond the surface to see gods as they were made--PERFECT.
I kneeled to the ground chalk firmly pressed in my fingers, I carved "BLACK MEN ARE NOT MY ENEMY." I wanted the next feet planted on this surface to understand that his broad shoulders, the depth of his voice, and raised hands are not signs of war. I wanted men to understand that a hoodie has always been a staple for wardrobe , not a modern noose. I wanted black men to see themselves and be reflective. I wanted them to know they are protected, loved, and respected. I wanted women to question themselves, to question when their experiences. I stood above my work, handing the chalk to my sister IKandy, and told her to finish my sentence.
I peered over my lens as I watched Ikandy , connect my words. I watched life recreate itself. Imagery was reborn on that street, in the baking sun, in Harlem.
If you ever had the pleasure of knowing my story, or being present in my experiences, you'd know that often I had to question my love for black men. I constantly fought the brewing self hatred, but at that moment my message so simple, so clean. I thought of my father, who drove 12 hours back and forth for me to experience family reunions, hushpuppies, and sing alongs to Sam Cooke. I had to forgive myself for allowing treatment less than the thrown my father raised me on. I had to forgive those who hurt me and understand the root.
For so long we have been taught to be divided. These Post Traumatic symptoms of Slavery, have no premise here. The sooner we realize how to love ourselves, we can love and heal others. I urge you each to send positive vibrations to our brothers, help a black man , make his day lighter because the world has taught us to attack not only his masculinity but his spirit.
Brothers I love you!
By Shavonne Taisha.