Dear weird black child (BEDA 29)

Dear weird black child,

There is nothing wrong with you. Do NOT let your blackness be defined by someone else. You do not belong in the box that other people, including OUR people, want to put you in to. There is nothing wrong with who you are. I have been there. I was that weird black kid and I turned into a weird black woman. I am proud of that.

I didn’t dress like everyone else. I wasn’t, and I am still not, label conscious. I didn’t really listen to rap music. I was super into anime (still into it now). I read manga. I was an undercover gamer. I was that weird black kid. I was made fun of. I was told that I “talk white”. I was told I wasn’t “black enough”. I was told I was weird. It took time but I embraced it. I am who I am and that is good enough for me.

You are who you are. Your blackness is in no way related to the things you enjoy. It’s ok for you to be more excited about the Looney Tunes Vans than the Yeezy season 2’s. It’s fine that you would rather watch soccer than basketball. Go ahead and participate in cosplay, you look GREAT! Sing along completely incorrectly to that Korean pop song, I’m in my car singing along too. You don’t know any of the rappers out right now? That’s ok, neither do I. You’re standing in line for a new game? Have fun and play hard! You know more about anime than reality television, you’re not alone (in fact most of the people I know don’t watch reality shows). There is absolutely nothing wrong you. There is nothing lacking about your “blackness”. You are who you are and you have no reason to be ashamed. Do not let others change how you feel about you. Be weird. Be true to who you are. You are not obligated to meet anyone else’s ideas of “how to be black”. There is no manual. There are no “blackness guidelines”. Your black does not have to match anyone else’s black. You are who you are meant to be.

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