Dom’s here with some potentially unpopular things to say again! Yay!
Can you be a Black American and proud to be an American?
Does it make you feel guilty or like you’re betraying your peoples?
As a Black woman in America, I went back and forth about wearing this American flag jumpsuit. I want to be honest here. I was like, “Hmm…my people are out here getting done so wrong in this country. Should I even wear this?” Well guys…I mean I am an American.
It’s always been a challenge to be Black. Here in America, we feel constantly attacked, singled out, oppressed and taken advantage of. That isn’t a secret, despite the ever-present denial that flows through the minds of too many. These negative sentiments make it very difficult to feel like we belong to a country ran by people who not only don’t look like us, but in many cases hate us for the way we look. Over the decades, it has become popular for some people to identify with Africa as “home” and for other radical individuals to disrespect the American flag.
Everyone can feel however they feel but umm…here’s my take on it.
My ancestors built this country.
They aren’t responsible for the hate and systemic racism that is an unfortunate product of ignorance; but their blood, sweat and tears are in American soil. They spent centuries contributing to this country and although they aren’t labeled as “founding fathers”, that’s exactly what they were. Grueling days and nights were spent out in the fields and raising up future politicians, bankers and businessmen only to do their best to tend to their own children, if they were lucky enough to still have them.
In no way do I denounce my African heritage, it’d be great to know which country and village my ancestors came from but from what I know, my ancestors were slaves. I’m not ashamed of that and I refuse to skip over them as if they didn’t exist. It supports the notion which haunts us today, that over time they weren’t Americans. They were, and so are we.
Were we brought here against our will? Yes. Were we kept here against our will for centuries? Absolutely. But check this out, we’re still here and those of us with long American (slave) roots don’t have a direct connection to anywhere but here. America. For example, I get particularly confused when I hear the, “If you don’t like it here go back to Africa.” statement. How you can you go back to somewhere that you’ve never been? The bewilderment that flows through me is astonishing. HOW?? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? This is our country, don’t be fooled. No one will run me out of a place that my great great great great (add more of those until it’s correct) grandparents went through Hell for. We (Black Americans) have managed to overcome far too much to keep telling ourselves that we don’t belong here.
We’re lucky enough to have double roots! Personally, I do want to discover more about where my African ancestors came from but it’s important that I feel comfortable where I am now, despite how uncomfortable certain people want me to be.
In a nutshell, I’m gonna go ahead and be Black and patriotic. I’ve been able to accomplish many things here that I’m proud of and I’m gonna continue to progress in a system meant for me to fail. We’re out here changing what it means to be American and what it means to live the American Dream. What does being an American look like to you?
“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise.” – Maya Angelou
Lotts of Love,
*Adorable jumpsuit/onesie & socks provided by Tipsy Elves! My ideas aren’t in reflection of the company, they are all my own. But the patriotism of the items Influenced the blog post. Don’t be shy! Both are on sale now!!