justJolie at ‘The Birth of a Nation’ red carpet screening
Last week, three people touched my hair without my permission. Two of them were complete strangers. One of them I knew. All three were not Black and my reaction to each incident was exactly the same.
The first hair touching occurred in Baltimore on a Monday. I was waiting for a bus to New York in a gross-ass Greyhound station, looking at the TV monitors trying to distract myself from the sneezing, coughing, piss smells and various other scents and sounds typical of a gross ass Greyhound station. All of the TVs were showing news reports of the then developing story of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma who was shot by a white police officer in the middle of the street. Continue reading
My mom has always tried her damnedest to raise me to err on the side of caution. When I started school, momma told me that if my teacher said something to me that was mean or if I was treated unfairly, never to talk back and to go to the main office when I got the chance and call her so she could handle it. When I started growing breasts, she used to make me wear sweaters over my tank tops (sweaters. In JULY!) so I wouldn’t catch any unwanted attention from “nasty” men. When I started driving, mom made sure I remembered that if I ever got pulled over for my reckless driving habits, to drive to a well-lit public space before stopping so there will be witnesses should things escalate.
Since seeing the Sandra Bland video, I’ve been asking myself what I would’ve done if I were in her shoes. In my mind, I hear my momma telling me, “That’s why I always tell you not to talk back to authority.” “Remember what I told you about police?” I hear my her warnings and I begin to think that if it were me, I wouldn’t have been dragged out of my car because I wouldn’t have said or done anything. Continue reading