My self-consciousness of my race has never been heightened to such a level as it has been as of late. On a normal basis, I don't wake up in the morning with the thought of what my race is anywhere on my mind, or when riding in my car or grocery shopping, etc. I wake and operate on a daily basis with the dominant consciousness that I am a human being - a woman with a family and a purpose in life. It doesn't really dawn on me that I'm "black" until I enter into a situation where the people around me remind me that I am. And that's unfortunate.
I'm human when I realize my refrigerator is empty and I need to go grocery shopping so my family can eat. I'm black when I get to the grocery store in a predominantly white neighborhood and looked at in amazement.
I'm human when I get up and get dressed for work everyday to make a living. I'm black when I climb up the ranks amongst Caucasian peers and in so many words and actions am told, "You can't succeed here."
I'm human when I search for a nice home for my family to dwell and grow in. I'm black when I step out the car to meet the realtor as their face expression says, "Oh, Lord, their black!"
So, with all these encounters that I'm sure to face on a day-to-day basis, it's hard to live "free" in my mind and unrestricted when I'm constantly reminded that I'm black, and that black is associated with all bad in some people's eyes. It saddens me that I can't live in a world where I'm unguarded because of the bias of others because of the color of my skin.
Our forefathers fought so hard for our equality. And blatant slavery has been abolished because of it. But the war against racism is far from over. I grew up thinking because slavery was no more, racism would die with it. The older I get the more I see it never died. It learned how to adapt. It became smarter. It found out how to survive quietly in our modern day society. And yet, I hear its voice so very loud and clear - now more than ever.
The attitude of some sickens me that it's their world and we just live in it. Everyday I have to fight to not shy away in their world; to let my blackness remain bold, and my humanness remain just as relevant and precious as the next's.
A young black professional.