Life with Black people is about to get harder.
When it became more commonplace for married women to work outside the home, a lot of men resented this shift in culture because it made life harder for them. They longed for the “good old days” when they didn’t have to worry about two careers to manage, two work/life balancing acts to manage, and having to incorporate the desires, goals, and aspirations of their wives into family decisions. Many women wanted to work all along, but they often suppressed those desires to survive in a society that didn’t always care about how they felt or what they thought.
What you may not know is that there are a lot of things Black folks have had to keep to themselves and suppress for the sake of survival. The issue of race deeply impacts our daily experiences and mental calculations in how we operate in various public spaces, and yet this very issue has historically been taboo and/or contentious. Speaking on it could cost us our jobs, our reputations, and everything we worked so hard to achieve. So we survive in silence. But now that the country is claiming to have a newfound desire to listen to our perspectives on race and life, things will necessarily get harder for everyone. Imagine the trouble of having to actually care about how Black people feel about any and every aspect of American life. Talk about hard work! You may find yourself longing for the “good old days” when you didn’t have to give so much consideration to our thoughts and feelings on things. Maybe you feel like you’ve had to give too much consideration already. Well, let me tell you, it’s about to get worse folks. But that’s good news to the person seeking to love their neighbor.
The days ahead could also be a challenge for Black folks, because now we’ll have to start sharing things we were used to keeping to ourselves, and we may still have some fear to overcome. But Black life and Black thought is a gift, and it’s time for us to stop apologizing when others have to respect it.
This, friends, is what love looks like in public.