Being Black During Black History Month

…is awkward…especially when you find yourself primarily in all white contexts.

You have to wrestle with that awkward tension of not being ‘that black person’ (the one who is always reminding white people what their ancestors did wrong) and still showing that you care about your culture.

It’s a tension I’ve dealt with all my life.

I’ve gone to predominately white schools since 3rd grade while going to a predominately black church.

After I learned that ‘water’ was pronounced ‘wah – ter’ and not ‘wuder’, my white friends treated me as if I fit in.

But then I lost respect from my black friends at church because, I had, evidently, become white.

As long as I acted and spoke like my white friends, they accepted me.

And as long as I could still ‘be down’, my black friends accepted me.

And all along, I’m just screaming, ‘Can I just be, Bri?!’

I’ve never fit a mold.

It’s something I’ve learned to love now but I used to wrestle with a lot.

I’m black and I’m proud of that.

As a kid, I studied people like Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela for fun. I devoured books about them and reported to my parents everything I learned.

I’ve spent years telling people why diversity is important and planning events to celebrate differences within the Body of Christ.

So friends, it’s Black History Month.

Let’s celebrate each other and the uniqueness that makes us the Body of Christ.

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