The day the news broke about #AltonSterling, I was stricken. I did not want to read or talk about it. I definitely didn’t want to watch any footage. I thought that by not talking about it I would be able to maintain my composure. My fiancé wanted to talk about it. I kept shaking my head saying “I can’t” or “Not yet”. I wasn’t ready and didn’t know when I would be. It wasn’t until we were getting ready to go to bed that it hit me. As much as this troubles and weighs on me as a Black woman, I can’t imagine the weight on the shoulders of our Black and Brown men (mine in particular). He was trying to process this just like I was. And instead of addressing this as a Black family, I dismissed the topic (certainly not for lack of caring).
My plan for today was to talk through our feelings about what happened tonight while we ate, then watch a spirit lifting movie. I wasn’t expecting yet another murder to occur #PhilandoCastile.
I’m now left wondering how to unpack, process, and stay sane? How do we dilute the abrasive images that are shoved in front of us? How do we internally reset so that we can collectively regroup?
Staying off social media helps. Talking through it with (supportive, empathetic) friends and loved ones helps. But what else? A friend of mine (a super smart educator and all around magical Black girl) shared a link with me. I thought it may be helpful to others trying to wade through these heavy feelings. The link was to a blog called JustJasmineBlog where she addresses lots of what people deal with everyday. She also addresses issues facing people of color specifically. In this post, she stresses the importance of self-care, articulating it beautifully. Check it out below:
It may not feel like much in the grand scheme of things, but it is a start. We have to take care of us, so that we can take care of US.