I love how this Evanston born-and-bred woman and EPD detective expresses herself. Thank you for this, Tosha Wilson.
In the spirit of Black History Month.... I love when Puerto Ricans march with pride and display the traditions of their culture, when Italians love the fact that they speak with their hands and making great food with their families, when Polish people make fun of each other for saying goodbye a million times before departing and blessing the world with Pierogis, or when Nigerians break down their Makossa dance while wearing the garb of kings and queens... I see and understand the beauty....It makes me proud that they are proud. The moment I say, I have black pride or I talk with a style that is unorthodox to some... it's all negative.
If I say my life matters, the response is mine does too (duh), if I say "ain't" it's corrected as if I don't know what to actually say.
If I wear my hair natural, people say, "what's wrong with your hair?" If I name my son King or Shaquille then I'm told I need to assimilate and name my son something "normal" like Michael or Sam.
Assimilate to what? This is the ONLY place I know and I have no room to assimilate. I AM the assimilation. I am an American Black woman and I come from no particular land that I know of. Who I am here is who America made me to be and I would LOVE for the world to see me as I am. I am proud, black, loving, unselfish, soul food loving, loud talking, "ain't" using, and simply simple. If I speak highly of my people and a negative vibe comes across you that doesn't when we speak of Italians, Polish, Puerto Rican, The Swiss etc... then there is something within you that is negative. Be proud of me as I am of you.