Have you checked our previous article? My Online Dancing Journey
We are living in a world where your skin color can cost you your life.
I am glad that we are talking about it, and everyone has something to say, but are you listening to the right people? Not always. And here is the "Black Matter."
I am a Professional Dancer and Lecturer. My mentors were White, Black, and Asian. Love and Unity built me. Educating people about racism is more important than ever. However, you should make sure to know why and how. So what do we want? What does a black person want? I decided to talk about it as it seems like people don't know, and I won't blame them for that. I didn't know either until that day...
Saturday morning, on a nice summer day. I was a child, probably around eight, and I was at the market with some friends. I used to live in a charming small town; that place was always so busy. I was so happy because I was allowed to enjoy some time on my own with my older friends. I was happily running around, playing hide and seek; I had so much fun until I tripped over and bumped into that man who yelled at me:
<< DO NOT TOUCH ME F****** NIGGER!!!! >>
The time stopped for long seconds. The busy market became utterly silent, and everyone was staring at me; I was petrified. I was confused. I was so young, but I understood. I truly did. I can't explain why; it was my first time, but I understood the power of that man's words. I stayed silent the entire time, as all the adults around me. I was alone. I was scared. No one said anything. Then the man left. And life continued as if none of this had happened. I kept playing with my friends. I never talked about it, to anyone, until today. After all, it was just another beautiful summer day.
That was my first time. The first time I experienced racism, and sadly we all have one.
I had completely forgotten about this incident; I didn't remember it until someone yelled at me from his car a few months ago while waiting for my bus: << F****** NIGGER!!!! >>
Just like in my childhood memory, everyone at the bus station remained silent. I was shocked that day, and I was convinced that it was my first time. I spoke about it to my fellow cast members just before our evening show the next day; their love and response to that were overwhelming. They stood by my side and gave me so much love. They gave me hope. They were all white. I genuinely thought that it was the first time, but today I remember, it wasn't. I had erased this memory from my mind, like that day where the police brutally arrested me by mistake. The violent "incident" happened after a night out at the club to celebrate my 18th birthday; I walked home alone. It was a quiet and peaceful night. I was innocent, I said it very clearly, yelling at them in the car: << Where are you taking me? I'm innocent! I didn't do anything wrong!>> 4 violent, angry men, I will never forget their physical and verbal violence; they terrified me. After a few hours at the police station, they released me. Not an apology; they didn't take me home. They did nothing. I couldn't share my story with my parents because it was my first authorized night out. That was also another first time.
Not every cop is racist, I know it, nor every black man walking in the street is a criminal. I erased those memories from my mind, and it all comes back to me now.
I consider myself lucky; I could tell so many heartbreaking stories like this as any black person could. Yes, I feel fortunate as it feels like nothing. Some black people risk their lives every day. Despite those experiences, I decided to be happy, live my best life, and love people.
I am lucky, and I am so grateful for that.
This book is a must-read! By Ibram X. Kendi
So what do we want? Probably the same things; we are no different. We have our strengths and our weaknesses like everyone else. Today, a black person still wants the same thing: not feel black in your eyes and actions. We want to be treated equally, to have the same opportunities, regularly, not just now, not only for the next few weeks. We want to book a gig because we are fantastic and not because it is trendy. We want you to stand by our side if you witness racial abuse; we want you to be as concerned as we are if it happens in front of you.
And what's next? I know you might have donated, signed a petition, shared a photo on your social media, etc. That is nice. However, it is deeper than that. There is more to do, and here is how you can make THE difference: If you are a white person, a parent, or considering to be one in the future, and you are reading this blog, the best thing you can do is to help to erase racism as its source. A child is born pure and innocent. Make sure they live happy lives surrounded by diversity. Educate your white child with love. Show them how to love equally. Perhaps purchase (also) black dolls, buy books from black authors and books featuring black characters, and people from different countries and cultures.
And most importantly, don't make it a big deal! I mean, there is no need to justify it; you don't have to. Normalize it the best you can. It is simply the representation of the world we are living in!
Talk about racism within your own family. Do your best at your level, adjusting the complexity of the explanation to your child's age. You can keep it very simple. It is truly needed: a few months ago, I heard about that white child at primary school who said to one of her peers: << You can't play with us, no black children allowed>>. This child is five years old.
I recommend this Amazing book by Michelle Alexander
If you decide to take more significant actions about racism, do not hesitate to ask black people for their guidance if you genuinely want to change the people around you. The other day I sat with this lovely lady (on Zoom), we discussed it for more than an hour. She needed to learn from black people, and it was right; she talked to many black people before taking action, and this way, she couldn't go wrong! I can't speak for every black person in the world; however, I can guarantee you that every one of us shares the same desire: my skin colour should not define who I am. And this thought is shared by many people of colour, whatever their background.
You are part of the solution by standing with us, and I am proud of you for that.
My online dancing journey took me to an unexpected place today, and again, it was on a beautiful summer day.
Thank you for reading; please share with your friends and family!
Online Dance Classes
By renting for 48 hours, you can essentially purchase two classes for the price of one! Alternatively, buying the content outright allows you to wait for further videos to be released and build up your technique over an extended period of time – at your own pace.
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