So, its the end of IBARW and I didn't really know what to put here, so I figured I'd be more reflective.
Basically, I have a long way to go as far as learning and understanding (though it seems so nonsensical at times) racism, and through that myself and how I'm to live because of it. I think I learned that a lot this summer. I'm not a scholar or a scientist, I'm a 20-something student who, a couple years back, began to realize that my skin color affected me in a bigger way than I thought. And I'm still learning how my skin affects me. Though I am sometimes frustrated, sometimes sad, often angry, sometimes bitter, I really do appreciate the opportunities I've been given to read and write and study racism. Yes, I am unable to separate myself from this trying topic when it gets difficult to breath thinking about how much differently I see the world because of my skin color. No, I can't just stick my head in the sand and hope that bad things won't happen to me, because, though I've been enormously blessed in these past 20 years of my life to never experience a more explicit, verbal, or violent racism, the subtle kind hurts, too. Maybe because it burrows its way underneath my skin after its been repeated so often and tries to live inside me it has a more lasting impact. It is an enemy to be combatted everyday when I wake up and see that my hair texture is devalued, as is the shape of my nose, the scale of my frame, the color of my skin-- my intelligence is mocked, my words interrupted, my thoughts unspoken, my history hidden...
But then I think its the coolest blessing in the world to be born African-American, to have such a rich history to uncover, to not really be able to take for granted the people in my past because there is such a tangible connection between how they lived their lives and how I am now able to live mine. And of course, everyone has a connection to those who came before them, but not everyone has to confront it everyday.
So I'm thankful that I wake up every morning and think about how I am a black woman because it has made me stronger and wiser as a person.