Feeling hopeless? Study Black history.

An obviously guilty president was acquitted and you’re feeling some kinda way about it.

You marched. You voted. Your representatives found the courage to impeach the motherfucker. Yay? A senate led by a turtle with the moral rectitude of a trail of slug slime chose corruption over decency (and grammar). And now you’re not sure what to do, because your system failed you. 

For everyone who’s disappointed, disillusioned, frustrated, fed up, and no longer believes things are going to get better;

For everyone who believes today this country has finally taken a turn for the worse from which we’ll never recover:

Welcome to being Black in the US. 

I said three years ago when this fool got elected: you’re only gonna survive if you make a Black friend (not including me).

Not because we’re “magical negroes” here to guide you to your better selves (although for real we are magic; have you SEEN Angela Bassett?). This ain’t Green Book; we exist for reasons entirely divorced from your need for personal edification. And not so we can do the labor of explaining the history of this country to you; we built this country, we’ve done ENOUGH free labor. 

I told y’all to make a Black friend because we’ve been through this. 

Black folx in this country have never had the luxury of trusting the system to work in our behalf; we’ve actually always counted on the system working to suppress and oppress us. We’ve never had the option of quitting when the law not just failed us but persecuted and prosecuted us. 

We’ve never counted on this country to do right by us. 

We also never let that stop us from BEING us.

From having empathy. From fighting for rights no man could grant us or take from us. From getting up no matter how many times we were kicked down. No matter how many of us swung from trees like strange fruit, had our lives and the lives our children threatened, no matter how systematically we’ve been disenfranchised and told over and over and OVER again that we were less, that we were unwanted, that we didn’t matter, that weren’t even human, we just kept going

400 years with a foot on your neck will teach you perseverance.

In the meantime we found joy.

We invented soul food when you gave us garbage. We sang under the heat of the sun in the open fields. We gave this country music and laughter, cooked for you and fixed your cocktails. We raised our children to believe it was their responsibility to honor the sacrifices of all who’d come before by making the mountain higher for all who come after. We found pride in ourselves when all we were given was shame. 

And we never fought for ourselves. We fought for JUSTICE.

We’re still fighting, although we’ve learned not to wait for anyone to hand us anything; that’s a bus that’s already left the station. We share Black History Month with you, not so you can see our value; we no longer require the validation. 

We share Black History Month with you so you can learn how to stand in the face of tyranny; we’ve been doing it since we got to this country that hates and fears and yet still weirdly craves us. The system failed you.

45* is about to get worse than he’s ever been. Want to know how to win, not today or tomorrow but eventually?

Study Black History Month. We’ve got experience with this.