Negroes, Sweet and docile, Meek, humble and kind: Beware the day They change their mind! Wind In the cotton fields, Gentle Breeze: Beware the hour It uproots trees!
photograph of Tolbert Ann Dukes, my maternal grandmother
I've had enough...
Last night, my white professor decided that he wanted to read the word Nigger aloud to a classroom full of Black students on the campus of a Historically Black University.
I'm not going to get into all of the reasons that it's problematic as the fuck. I'm not going to tell anybody else how they need to feel about it...
But to sit in a classroom full of Black scholars, and to watch the uncomfortable bodies shifting accompanied by subtle whispers, all while not hearing one person speak up about his poor decision...made me sick...
Sweet and docile,
Meek, humble and kind:
Beware the day
They change their mind!
Because race is a social construct and Blackness isn't monolithic, I sat with my own feelings for a minute to really unpack whether I was going to address him in that moment, some other time, or at all...I hop on Google to find articles about best practices, trying to find different ways to address this...I missed the remainder of the lecture because I needed to know what the fuck to do in this instance...
Much to my chagrin, I found no fucking helpful answers... and I realized in THAT MOMENT that I had to listen to myself...I had to let my emotions tell me what the issue was so that I could properly address it.
For the rest of class, my body was so fucking tight, but I decided to address him at the end by asking to speak with him after class.