On November 9th, 2016 I awoke with a heavy heart...
A brick had taken up residence in my chest.
Donald Trump was the President-Elect of the US.
I felt the weight of worry.
The United States of America is one of the most powerful countries in the world and I'm from a little dot in the Caribbean Sea.
Over the next few days, I viewed horrible posts on Instagram and Facebook:
- Images of people rioting or crying
- Signs saying "Make America White Again"
- Stories of racists rants and acts.
That brick became an elephant.
Like most people, I took to Facebook. At first, I resorted to humour but the brick didn't budge. So I deleted my funny post and replaced it with:
"The power of HATE."
I am black; never wanted to be any other race.
I'm HAPPY in the skin I'm in.
But these events brought me down. Way down.
I was still the same proud black woman, yet I simply could not fathom why someone would hate me because of the colour of my skin.
I've got so much going on under here...
I dress well.
I smell good.
I can cook.
Really, I'm the complete package.
Except I am hated because what lies at my core, is a powerhouse of melanin.
Black pride is a powerful thing.
But so is hate.
I felt depressed.
2016 was not going how I planned it at all.
I avoided social media. I decided Trump wasn't my problem and I was happy on my little island surrounded by black people like me.
I'm not saying racism doesn't exist here, but I don't have to fear being stopped by the police or walk past racist slurs on my way to work.
One lazy Sunday evening, I decided to scroll through Instagram and saw this story:
A black girl was harassed by a racist Trump supporter who pushed her off a sidewalk.
Had the world gone mad???
It didn't end there though...
300 students turned up to walk that girl to class after hearing her story.
Three. Hundred. Students.
No one sat with Rosa Parks.
Garvey and Mandela went to prison alone.
This young, black girl was not alone.
There was HOPE.
I realised that there was something more powerful than hate.
Something that was there all along.
Honesty. Kindness. Compassion. Empathy. Strength.
They were ALWAYS there.
I just needed to look.
So here is my challenge to you:
Look for those posts, those images and those stories that show ALL IS NOT LOST.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook... doesn't matter.
Tag them #thepoweroflove
Because, although we're down, we're not out.
And we can end 2016 on a note that gives us hope.