Thursday, September 27, 2018

Black Pain|Black Rage

"Can't come around
They gon' wanna bring you down

No one knows just what's inside.

Doing dope and doing time

Why are they messing with your mind
Black maybe..."

-Common, U Black Maybe

About a month ago, on the BGFB FB Page and blog, I briefly discussed how stress kills us! We often forget how stress manifests into a Black rage and Black pain, which silently kills us slowly and daily. Anger, pain, and trauma all coincide with being Native Black in America, dealing with constant mistreatment, no upward mobility, unstable and unhealthy environments, and continuous lying that everybody is okay. Being Native Black in America consists of a complicated and unhealed journey of involuntarily inflicting pain, abuse, use, and mistreatment from others who inflicted pain and rage upon us.  

Black people are empathic, probably too empathic and forgiving when we shouldn't be. We extend our grace and mercy too often while others don't reciprocate it. As Native Black Americans/Descendant of Chattel Slavery, we often put aside our issues and, unfortunately, take on the problems of folks who don't care about us or acknowledge our horrible history of mistreatment here on the same soil our ancestors built, bleed farm, and died on.    

When we are in a state of rage, sometimes we tend to project that onto other Native Blacks through respectability politics. You know the pound cake speech:

"You should straighten your hair if you want to be respected by White Folks." 
"You should code-switch and talk this way to be accepted by the masses." "You should send your children to this school over there for better opportunities." 
"You should do this, that, and the third for acceptance."

Whose acceptance and at what cost? How is that acceptance working out for those who are assimilating and conforming or perhaps trying to escape Blackness? 

It doesn't work for us because we are always in internal rage. After all, you are trying to achieve this unrealistic and sabotaging perfection non-existence. (

Internalizing our rage is killing us and has been killing us since the beginning of time. Please let it out and not let internalized anger slowly kill you. Releasing rage is unpacking years of unlearning unhealthy coping mechanisms such as self-abuse, self-loathing, and self-sabotaging behaviors. Unfortunately, we can't unlearn and unpack centuries of trauma from slavery, disenfranchisement, broken families, no wealth, and injustice. It is okay to be mad AF because to be Black in America, you are already in a state of rage daily. Just don't stay angry; do something productive about it: 
  • Advocate for Black Americans through 1:1 and group therapy and healing modalities.
  • Support Black organizations, institutions, schools, and non-profits through volunteerism or donation or sending your children or family members to these institutions.
  • Get involved with local community politics and help your fellow family members and community members progress.  
Do something productive with that rage instead of suppressing and internalizing it. Internalizing pain and irritation develop incurable diseases. Rage is depression (inward anger), passive-aggressive, saying you are okay when you aren't. Please stop walking around with a fake smile, but you are a ticking time bomb. These behaviors are damaging and detrimental to your holistic health.

Masking our Black Pain and Rage is a daily coping mechanism that is vaguely discussed because we don't want to play into the stereotype of being an Angry Black Woman or Man. How can every other human unleash and unpack their hurt and pain, but we must internalize it all for the sake of looking pristine, holding onto a career or fragile self-image? When are we going to individually and collectively heal our rage and pain?

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