#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge–Week 14 (2021)

Before we get started, let us get some terminology:

Catfishing is when someone sets up a fake online profile to trick people who are looking for love, usually to get money out of them. A catfish is the person that does this.

Performative allyship is still oppression.

Know this. Remember this. Share this.

In this Cold War Civil War social justice movement we are in, the new thing now is allyship. Being an ally. Are you a ally? Should you be an ally? In the justice of that, in the wanting of justice, it is impossible to do the changes the world needs without help! In acknowledging that white supremacy and white privilege exists, the dismantling of oppressive systems can only happen when those with privilege admit they have it, and use it for the betterment of those that who do not have it!

The killer part to this is the rash of performative allyship, there is a hyper vigilance with those whom are working for change! It must be! This is most often seen on TikTok (follow me on TikTok–@whatjayesaid)! In the almost year I have been on this app, I have seen people whom have been thought to be allies/accomplices whom have been found out to be neither! Yet, they used social media and the work of social justice for clout.

Black. Lives. Are. Not. Clout.

Black. Lives. Are. Not. To. Be. Used. For. Clout.

Vetting for those whom are not Black into Black spaces, to help (read: not take over!) movements and their progress, is necessary! It is needed! You have to know who is with you, who isn’t and who is faking–it is those who are faking/constructing personas of social justice whom are the most dangerous.

Trees have fake, weak and dead branches too. That’s why you have to prune them.

Be aware.

#BlackBlogMatter Challenge-Week 13 (2021)

Ah, and here we go–CENTERING MINORITY VOICES.

As a writer, as a minority writer, as a minority writer with a platform, I am a minority writer, who takes great happiness in finding other minority voices, I cannot stress how important this is…how needed!

I have been a freelance writer for 7 years, and a blogger for 5 of those years. One of the most powerful things that I do in running platforms is two-fold: I am creating content and looking for those who want to create! Part of my job as an administrator is to create a place for my own voice. As a writer who is Black and woman, and a Black woman writer, I have to make space! If I do not value my own voice, if I do not mine the strength to make my voice priority–I will not be able to give that strength to anyone else!

In making a platform through my talent and voice, I must be aware that puts me at an unique advantage! I must be able to recognize who can benefit from exposure, from mentorship, and the kindness writers extend to other writers!

I would be lying to you if I said writing was easy. It isn’t. It’s not. That difficulty is amplified when you race is added in the mix! The writing community is so vast, it is so confusing at points, that if you do not have a community to support you…you will quit. What I do to help writers to not quit is to maintain space, remain steadfast and remain consistent. I offer support. I offer guidance. I become the support I didn’t have, creating a community that I didn’t think that I needed. In building this network, in building these platforms, my goal is to show the world the talent that Black writers have.

We exist. We matter. We aren’t going away.

#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge-Week 7 (2021)

“What Black People Be Thinking?”

This is a dissertation! Earlier this week, I talked about how NOT to ask Black people about their social media presence or absence. Again, PSA: DON’T DO THIS.

As this week ends, let me tell you this. Black people are also thinking: Where is this America that people keep traveling to that is supposed to be so great?! Where is it?!

Now, I will say this. Being in this nation, even as a descendant of slaves, indigenous peoples I am more ‘free’ than any other woman in the world. For this, and for this cause, I am grateful. I am thankful that I live in a nation that I can be Black, woman, and writer, all at the same time. With that said, in light of all the mass trauma, murder, mayhem and socially acceptable chaos–I am still wondering where the American Dream is.

George Carlin, comedian and social critic, said that the American Dream is just that, because, he said, “You have to be asleep to believe it.” So, to ask what Black people be thinking? Whew, chile! All we want are the same opportunities and access to be amazing (and alive) as anyone else! Why is this hard? Why does this feel impossible?!

Why does being Black have to be the thing people buy, people hate, people kill, or people mimic? Why are Black men great in alphabet soup (NCAA, NBA, NFL, MLB, D1, D2, etc) because cannot be seen as competent enough to run companies, countries or departments? Why are Black women–from our essence to esthetic!–marketed, copied, and set up to be sat out for the consumption of thirsty women whom cannot compare!

WHY CAN’T WE JUST LIVE!

You can tan, but I can get fired for braids.

You can pick all the big, tall, fast, Black men for your Fantasy Football League–but you call the police on them when “I don’t think he belongs here, and looks suspicious.”

Make it make sense. Just make it make sense. From where we sit, the nation (and the world at large!) love Black culture…just not from Black people.

#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge-Week 7 (2021)

Ah, here we!

Let me tell you what is one thing that Black people are thinking.

If you are working with a group of Black people, don’t ask to follow them on social media. Like do not ask this! Do not ask me this, don’t as your Black co-workers this, do not ask random Black people you are already have seen on social media as ‘mutuals’ this! Just don’t!

There is a girl at my day job that was asked why she didn’t ‘join’ the work group chat on Facebook! Why should she! Look, let me help you. Black folk don’t have a lot of safe spaces–even the spaces we create for ourselves get invaded people folk can’t help but be in our business! No, the Black folk at your job are not obligated to be you Facebook friend, and you should not make it your mission to be theirs UNLESS they invite you to be! As much as I love these 26 letters of the English language, I am well aware that not everyone at my day job (as problematic it can be), can handle me outside of any professional parameters. What does that mean?

The Me at work, is NAWT the ME which in on social media! Why? It is my space, on my time, and I don’t owe those people anything after I have clocked out for the day! I make it my mission to BLOCK my management on social media for this reason! Not that I have an issue with them, but I don’t want them in my business! Not everyone in the ‘work group’ is there for team building exercises! Some people spy, snitch, and genuinely have nothing else to do other than see what you are doing–to run back and go tell!

No, I’m not being paranoid. I’m being practical! The world is a hotbed of irritation, QAnon Conspiracies, Orange Thanos worshippers in high places, and people that look for any reason to see Black people just Black peopleing seeing our existence as an affront to their success.

I don’t need that. I won’t want that. Don’t invite me to the ‘Facebook Page for work.’ I already blocked everybody on there. I ain’t coming. I come here to make money, not memories.

#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge-Week 6 (2021)

What I think is missing in this conversation around inclusion, equality and equity is the ‘A’ word: ACCESS.

None of these things can be given, granted to acknowledged without access! This 6-letter word is powerful, and it is the world by which has allowed freedom and bondage; education and illiteracy; life and death. These things are no exaggeration–and are granted by access!

There cannot be progress, or progress, without access. This can come through information, resources, and networking–again, access!–which allow all the magic of progress and forward-moving for us as a society! Access is the skeleton key for all of these things.

Access is the defined as  permission, liberty, or ability to enter, approach, or pass to and from a place or to approach or communicate with a person or thing (thanks Merriam-Webster!).

Without access, there can be no inclusion.

Without access, there can be no equity.

Without access, there can be no equality.

Access is the key to the house we all desire to live in–and makes the world a better place.