“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me .”
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Witnessing Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate's Judiciary committee was exhausting to say the least, but nevertheless reminded me of the impact and importance of sharing your story. Dr. Ford's bravery and commitment to follow through on her civic duty speaks volumes about her integrity and fortitude in the face of public scrutiny.
When Black journalists go to report the deaths of Black people, is there often a hesitation? When Black people are inundated with social media posts discussing (and often showing) Black death, is there a desire to withdraw? Those questions may seem rhetorical (they’re supposed to be) and they are all things I felt when I learned of 18-year old Nia Wilson’s murder in Oakland. I had no desire to read about it in the days after the story broke, which is often my reaction to most major news stories, as to not get inundated with impassioned hot takes and information that is simply fast rather than fact.
However, I realized that every time Nia Wilson’s name came across my screen, I would read whatever news update or tribute the post provided and keep scrolling. Truthfully, I became almost frustrated by the number of social media posts, “Say Her Name” hashtags and the like, which fueled my desire to try and ignore the story as though it had not happened. When I caught myself, I realized this was for no other reason than the fact that I am tired of reading about Black girls being killed. I am tired of the fact that, even in death, Black women are politicized and memorialized in the context of our social positioning in America rather than as human beings whose lives were senselessly cut short.
Update: I wrote this post July 20. As of September 17, I am settling into my new job and apartment, in a much better place and making significant strides towards genuine happiness again. I debated leaving this up because I don't want to carry old burdens as I walk into new blessings, but I would be remise to not acknowledge and express thanks for the way God turned my situation around. I'm not all the way there yet, but every day I'm working towards creating a life I enjoy and the simple fact that I have the opportunity to do that demands acknowledgement. I'll leave this post up to continue sharing my story and encourage anyone going through difficult times that it does get better. Keep steppin'.
Thank you to everyone who participated in my social media poll, I'll still write on staying power, but it was pretty clear you guys wanted to first see a post on self-accountability. When I thought of that phrase, self-accountability, the infamous video from Cycle 4 of America's Next Top Model was the first thing that came to mind. The line where Tyra says "Take responsibility for yourself, because no one is going to take responsibility for you" summarizes everything I could say in this blog post.
If you haven't already, watch the scene I'm referring to (above) and this time imagine Tiffany as yourself and Tyra as...yourself. I wanted to include the extended version because Tiffany's judging process leading up to Tyra reading her for filth is actually super important to note in this conversation about self-accountability and self-responsibility. I'm going to break down the three most important things I recognized in the video to help explain this topic as best as I can. Before we get into it though, take a moment to read this quote from William H. Murray:
'kési's current faves' is a new series on my blog featuring my current favorite music, books, articles, shows, people, etc. that deal with anything in the realm of Black womanhood.
The first installment features a book and song that I got into yesterday which both discuss Black women and mental health/ depression. Click 'Read More' to check them out:
A few months ago, my baby dadd- I mean fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman came back to Howard University to participate in a panel after the screening of Marshall, a film detailing one of (another Howard alumnus) Thurgood Marshall's career-defining cases as a lawyer for the NAACP. One thing Chadwick said that stood out to me, was that he intentionally chooses roles in which he can portray positive images of Black men and tell those stories accurately. His track record only proves this: In addition to Marshall, Chadwick landed leading roles as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and his most recent ( and undoubtedly biggest) role, as King T'Challa and the titular Black Panther (2018).