The Burden Of Representation

The hardest part of being Black is often bearing the burden of representation.

What do I mean by that?

It means sitting in a classroom as a black student and being afraid to get called to ask a question because you know that if you get the answer wrong, it is seen as a result of the stereotypical stupidity of Black people.

It's when you're in a public place with the majority of people around you being a race other than Black. Suddenly, an argument ensues with two Black people and everyone stares at them. And then at you, because you're officially guilty because they look like you.

It's seeing a stereotypical Black person in the media and knowing that because that person is depicted as dumb, violent, ghetto, uneducated, or somehow inferior to white people, you will be treated the same way.

It's praying that people will begin to like President Obama again because you don't think anyone would want to vote for another Black president again because "Remember what happened the last time one of them was president?"

It's being super nice to everyone you meet because if you aren't at your best, no one would care if you were just having a bad day. All black people are supposedly rude and negative.

It's being asked questions about your race, as if all Black people are the exactly the same way.

Often, being Black in society means that you are not a person, but a symbol. You're a symbol of poverty, even if you aren't poor. You're a symbol of violence, even if you are an extremely peaceful person. You guys, we have begin talking about race again. Too many people act as if it is no longer a problem, that just because the Civil Rights Movement is over, that everything is fine. It's not fine. And until we face our reality, it will continue to be only OUR reality.


Thanks for reading!



StartingOvr18 StartingOvr18
18-21, F
2 Responses Jan 24, 2013

My dear young lady, please don't let other people define you... "Black" was created by the very God that created all of us... I am a Caucasian man and find dignified black women very attractive... As soon as possible, I will be wedding my black woman from Africa... She stole my heart with who she is and not what she looks like... If someone dislikes or stereotypes you, because you are black, may I suggest that you avoid that person? You ARE a creation from God!!! I wish you all the very best!!!

Don't carry the burden, my young sistah.....but rather let people know that you are and INDIVIDUAL...who happens to be Black...you should always be proud of your color...GOD made no mistakes when HE created us....and continue to hold your head high...
In fact, I feel rather sorry for those narrow minded and bigoted people, that you've mentioned....they must truly feel intimidated by all the things that we as Black people can and do accomplish on a daily basis.....remember that fear breeds ignorance....and that's exactly what racism is.....we can and will rise above it...:)