how i became woke

until this year my opinion was not known to the world, let alone those around me.why? maybe because one might consider me as shy, because i prefer to watch and listen or in my opinion, the knowledge i possessed on issues of race and politics was average. for these reasons i believed that my silence was valid. but i was wrong. i am black, i am female, and i live in Vermont. no longer can i continue to assimilate to the silence and expect others to say the things i hold dearly to heart. how can i let the issues that others would rather ignore be silenced as well. especially in a state with one of the smallest black populations, being active in the classroom, in the community, and on social media, is a necessity if change and awareness is to be brought up regarding black rights and human rights.

the election of 2016 and the black lives matter movement awakened the voice within that i kept silent for so long. no longer could i be the black girl that sits in silence while my classmates and neighbors unapologetically voiced their political and racial opinions. being black they expect me to be loud or to have an opinion, or both, but in my silence they saw justification in statements like, “ you act white” and “you’re the whitest black person i know”. when such comments come up i respond with brevity in my opposition to their words with full knowledge that my truth meant little to their opinion of me.

so now i have decided to wake up from my silence and remain woke. in a manner that is both affirmative and justifiable without hate towards individuals and groups except for those that lack the respect and empathy for the basic rights of all humans.

in my enlightenment i see only improvement in myself confidence in voicing my opinion, in my awareness of the targeted racial and religious groups and in social issues of both nation and state. i have grown an even deeper reverence for the young people, the women, the men, the activists, and the politicians that sacrifice themselves in small and large ways that contribute to the betterment of societal justice and religious freedoms we all have the right to. under an administration with a segregated approach towards the treatment of the people it is especially important that we all become active members in order to make the changes that we want.