Giving Power to the Voice Within

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. ~ Harvey Fierstein

I’m an advocate, it’s what I do. Individuals each have a unique situation that has happened in their life that has caused them to be the person they are; and even if they do not see their situation as unique, it’s a matter of cross-cultural perspective. Since there are different circumstances an individual brings to life, it is easy to see how some individuals feel inferior to others where they are silenced. Education seems to be a silencer and the definition of education should allow all individuals to speak.

I recently read an article [Dear White Friends, I See Right Through Your #BlackLivesMatter Posts] that seems to be one of thee closest posts I have ever read to what I have felt and have been unpacking and unlearning over the past 9 years (since the death of Trayvon Martin). I have been careful in how and what I share publicly for fear of being seen as not truly black or black enough. Afraid to truly embrace my Blackness and the anger and hurt I have felt over the years because I am biracial and was afraid of what it meant to my white family to say, “I am a black woman” instead of always saying, “I’m mixed.”

As I prepare for my upcoming presentation for class, I have read so many experiences of black women in higher education chasing leadership roles and I have cried many days and nights because I identify with SOOO many experiences of these black women in higher education. I didn’t see myself as a black woman until the world systems treated me as such.

I am still processing and unpacking and healing, but I do know that I can no longer be silent and hold in the impact of being raised with color blindness yet balancing the discrimination of my complexion.

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