“Put Yo Hood Up”

As I sit in my office, at my desk I can’t help but to feel some kind of way on this somber, rainy Friday March morning. Today is not like other days, while I am still dressed in my business casual attire, I am proudly sporting a black and grey pull over hoodie. I even made my 7 year-old son wear his hoodie this morning and he questioned me as to why. My heart was heavy as I explained the reasoning behind his hoodie this morning. Working in a corporate setting wasn’t going to stop me from supporting the cause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On February 26, 2012 Trayvon Martin a 17 year-old young black man was gunned down by 28 year-old George Zimmerman, a  self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida. According to Zimmerman’s call to local police, Trayvon looked suspicious, even after being advised by dispatch not to pursue the “suspicious” man Zimmerman took upon himself to take justice into his own hands. Trayvon’s girlfriend who was on the phone with him at the time told authorities that she advised Trayvon that he may need to run from the man who was following him. The 911 call made by a witness clearly has audio of Trayvon screaming for help, gunshots then silence. As of today, March 23, 2012 nearly a month after the murder of young Trayvon, George Zimmerman is still a free man. Had the roles been reversed and a black man shot a “peculiar” looking white boy without probable cause would it take people rallying and signing a petition to get the justice that the Martin family so deserves? A murder is a murder and without just cause is a crime, there is nothing you can do or say to convince me otherwise.

Hoodie March in STL outside of City Hall

It will be 57 years in August that 14 year-old Emmett Till was tortured and murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till’s murderers were acquitted due to the difficulty identifying his body, so it is fair to say justice was far from served. Was it because he was black and his killers white? Look at the Jena 6, black boys accused of wrong doing and punished and called racist by a white society. I find that in the wake of the Trayvon Martin story, we are all looking to our children and saying, “My son could’ve been Trayvon.” President Obama spoke on this tragedy and he too has said “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” Rallies nationwide have been held in honor of getting justice for Trayvon, on Friday March 23, 2012 people of all colors wore their hoodies and gathered in public meeting places. “A Million Hoodies” Justice has yet to prevail in this case of racism, but if we continue to come together and make enough noise our voices will be heard!

So as I sit here, dressed in my corportate attire in my black and grey pull over hoodie, I AM TRAYVON MARTIN!

The Color Complex

Miscegenation: The mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, procreation and sexual relations. via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscegenation

Being of fair complexion I am always asked the question, “Which one of your parents is white?” My answer. “NEITHER!” and for some reason it is always said with much attitude. Just because an African-American is light skinned does not mean they are a product of an inter-racial relationship or sexual encounter. However I am of mixed ethnic background, just not of the norm, I am African-American, Native American and Mexican. Because of my fair skin, long hair and hazel eyes I suffered from what I call a color complex growing up. I didn’t exactly fit in with the black kids because I wasn’t dark enough, and I didn’t want to fit in with the white because hell, I wasn’t white. I was often teased and taunted by the by the girls with dark skin and thicker hair, “You think you cute because you got long hair and pretty eyes?” Which I didn’t, it wasn’t a big deal that I was light skinned, I was a person just like them. Right? Wrong! I went through my years growing up with this being an issue, it wasn’t until I got older and saw the movie “School Daze” by Spike Lee that I honestly understood just how deep the color complex truly was and still is.

Based at a fictitious historically black college this movie explores the issues that races encounter. The Wannabes and the Jiggaboos, wannabes being the light skinned women with long hair (weave or natural) and light eyes and the jiggaboos being the dark women with the naturally nappy hair. They called each other everything from nappyhead, tar baby, wanna be white to barbiedoll. Growing up I was called high yellow, house nigga, porch monkey, octoroon and anything else disrespectful the dark skinned girls could think of that could possibly hurt my feelings. I had to learn to be comfortable in my own skin in order to get over my color complex. I am who and I am, GOD made me this way for a reason and there was nothing anyone could say, light dark, pink or purple that would change that. Still to this day at the age of 25 almost 26 I still get called a house nigga or high yellow, but it doesn’t bother me because at the end of the day MY black no matter what percentage is BEAUTIFUL!!!