Today is Labor Day. I’m glad to be off. So, instead of 5 days, I have 4 days this week to pretend that my Blackness doesn’t matter in my workplace.
I like the gospel song by Donald Lawrence, “Encourage Yourself” and especially the lines:
Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.
Isn’t that what we do everyday, encourage ourselves. I don’t care what color Black you are, brown, light, next to bright, or coal Black, your day will be a challenge. Over the years, you get use to the stress of walking into work giving co-workers hellos and waves as greetings. And other Blacks know and respond, “…have a good day.” In other words, if someone is let go today I hope it’s not one of us. We are going to receive the whispering of “you are Black” in voices that pretend your color doesn’t matter because that’s the proper thing to do in the workplace. Whether you are working in a mall store, working on Wall Street, or in an office environment – large or small, you will need to encourage yourself. And they wonder why a lot of Black folks have high blood pressure.
We are great at hiding our pain and hurt from folks. I believe sometimes we hide it so long that we start to believe we are ok too. Prejudice attitudes that could be generational or plain red-neck “I’m better than you because I’m white.” can ruin a workday. Yes they are still around they haven’t disappeared as some would have you believe. Especially, the talented tenth among us who are part of the corporation’s executive staff, who have picked up the sword to push the belief we are a nation of color. They are spreading the hype that this nation is not Black or white. Since, we have a Black president we are in a new era in this country. Supposedly, we are a nation of color and a nation in the post-racial era. Bullshit!!