When Will People Shut Up About Race and Racism?
Sometimes writing about race and equality may feel like a daunting task. Sometimes it may even seem like there’s no more source material. But as long as racism continues to exist, there will always be source material. In this article, I will use the Black community to show why it is definitely not time to shut up about racism.
When will people shut up about race and racism?
When race and racism cease to exist. In other words, never.
A people group has been silenced for centuries and is it time for them to be silenced again?
I don’t think so. Not on my watch.
To all my writers writing about race and equality, write on.
Why we should write about race and racism now
People are facing racism now. People are facing police brutality now. George Floyd's passing was only less than 8 months ago.
Racism is still here.
The Black Lives Matter Movement is far from being over and with a new man and woman coming into the presidential and vice-presidential positions, it’s time to apply some pressure.
A group has been silenced
Historically, Black people have been silenced in multiple facets of American society. They weren’t allowed equal participation in politics and were viewed as second class citizens in everyday life.
For the sake of our silenced ancestors, we can’t afford to stop caring, advocating, and writing.
For years, the Black vote was silenced, essentially blocking out Black voices from one of the realms that could have actually produced change for them. Black men were given the right to vote in 1870 with the 15th Amendment and Black women were technically given the right to vote years after in 1920 with the women’s suffrage movement. Even still, there was voter suppression that minimized the Black vote.
The Black voice did not have room to expand. The fight to vote continued on until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, almost 100 years after the ratification of the 15th Amendment.
In the 1800s many Black people had their homes on plantations and were enslaved. Segregation began then with Black people inhabiting what was thought to be their designated place and white people occupied what was considered their designated place. Everyday life for many was enslavement. That was less than 200 years ago. Think about that.
Then slavery was abolished in 1865 and Black people began moving out of the south in the Great Migration. Millions of Black people populated cities in the north like New York and Chicago. Even as many Black people gained wealth and prosperity, they were still separated and seen as second class citizens wherever they could not share a space with a White person. And the south remained deeply segregated.
Within the span of time of the Great Migration, segregation was outlawed. Now today, the daunting racism facing Black people involves microaggressions, racial profiling, and police brutality. There is still work to be done. People are dying because of these things.
There is so much we haven’t uncovered yet.
I’m excited to see what other Black history facts are yet to be uncovered from America’s whitewashed history. Twitter is useful for that.
Not too long ago I stumbled upon a thread on Twitter actually. I believe it began with a user stating that slavery was probably way worse than we think. What I discovered from there was absolutely horrific.
Are we ready to know the truth?
We need to be.
It’s high time we do some digging and learn more about the contributions Black people have made in America. The Black Lives Matter movement seems to have hit a surge some months ago. Let’s ride that wave and find out what the ancestors did for us today.
For the fun of it and for the sake of sharing information, I’ll give you a few Black history facts.
- The first book ever written about colorism in the Black community was written in the early 1900s by Wallace Thurman and featured a Black female lead character named Emma Lou Morgan. It is called the Blacker the Berry.
- The first Black woman to run for presidential office was Shirley Chisholm.
- The first black U.S. line officer was a man named Martin Delany.
- The three-position traffic light was patented by Garret Morgan.
Now is not the time to shut up about race and racism. If anything, this is the time to talk about it more. Let’s exchange information about the past and ideas about the future. Let’s continue to advocate for equality, talk about it, and write about it.