Have you ever had your Black card taken from you? What does it mean to be Black? Is it possible to be more Black than the next Black person? I think about this sometimes whenever I see a social media post that says something like: “You aren’t Black if you don’t know. . .” I grew up in a middle class christian home where I often heard the phrase, “We are Christian before we are Black.” As you can imagine, I missed out on a lot of the staples that most if not all of my Black friends have experienced.
And so, the question remains, what does it mean to be Black? If you aren’t from the Hood, do you know what it means to be Black?
For me, the answer is simple: just like Black people aren’t a monolith, neither are our experiences. And so, my response to tweets like this would be, Yes. Black Rich kids from the suburbs do know about the Black experience. They may not know or understand every Black person’s experience but they know theirs.
No matter the race, we should tread carefully when describing experiences that are not our own. But that has less to do with race and more to do with Humanity, in general. The Black person sitting next to you can be reading this piece and walk away from it with vastly different perspectives. And that is okay. I think it is necessary that we question narratives told about groups by people outside of those groups.
I also think it is necessary to embrace the varied experiences we have. Because once we see that we all are different and we all are bringing our uniqueness, we then can see just how unlimited we are, as a people and a culture.
What are your thoughts?