Some days it is easy to forget the pain of being a Black person on this earth. Some days we can celebrate the Beyoncé’s and Solange’s and cheer on the Shonda’s. Some days we sing the praises of Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy. Some days we’re grateful for power of the Jesse’s and the Zoe’s. Some days it looks like the world might be a little better for the Brianna’s and the Kaya’s. Some days it seems like maybe the Rodney’s and the Temika’s did not struggle in vain. Some days we feel the love of those who appreciate us, not in spite of our different melanin level, but because of it. Some days it is easy to dance and laugh and be free, if only ever so briefly, of the pain.
Some days are not so easy. Some days we are reminded that no matter what we do, our lives do not matter to many. Some days we worry that even allowing our children to walk outside will result in their deaths. Some days we remember that we are not valued in the workplace, continuing to work twice as hard for half as much, to have that hard work overlooked because it is hidden in the shadows of our skin color. Some days we recall that our parents went to segregated schools and still some of our children go to segregated proms, because the idea of their children socializing with a Black person is just too much for some. Some days we lose our friends and family for decades at a time to imprisonment for crimes that other people who don’t look like us get a slap on the wrist for. Some days we lose the Jordan’s and the Trayvon’s, we lose the Mike’s and the Eric’s, we lose the Akai’s and Rekia’s to a coward with a badge or a gun. Some days both. Some days we lose Sandy and know something was wrong, but are powerless to do anything about it. Some days we wonder why it has to be this way, why we must be harmed in body and spirit for being Black, when we are just trying to live. Some days all that pain settles in our chests, squeezing like a vice grip, until it is unbearable and the pain comes out in a sob and a wail and our eyes overflow, and we ask, beg, plead why to the air in front of us, because maybe the air will have the answer, when nobody else does.
Some days it is easy. Some days it is hard.
Today is one of those days.