I’m sure that at some point in U.S. History class as the era of slavery was covered, most teachers mentioned the fact that some slaves were allowed to work in the house while other slaves were forced to work in the field. Educators would also go on the explain that this was a tactic used to foster division between the slaves. Slaves that were allowed to work in the slave master’s home were treated as superior to the field slaves, so although the slave population increased, they’d always be too divided to stand together against their masters.
Now, let’s fast forward a few hundred years.
Both of my parents grew up in Baltimore City. When they got married, they decided to grow and raise their family in the suburbs of Baltimore County. Being able to move to the county was the goal of most families. It meant you were “moving on up” like the Jefferson’s!
Although our primary residence was in Baltimore County, my parents still needed the assistance of my grandparents for childcare, so we remained enrolled in the Baltimore City school system while our grandparents provided our before and after care during the school year.
When my sister graduated from the elementary school we were attending, my parents decided this would be a good time to transition everyone to the Baltimore County school system. My sister could start middle school near our home, I would transfer into the local elementary school, and my little brother would go to a licensed childcare provider. My sister and I were devasted. We didn’t want to leave our friends and the comfortable environment of our grandparents’ neighborhood. Our parents insisted that we’d be fine.
I was nervous about starting this new school, naturally, but the teacher did her best to help me feel at home in the new environment. She introduced me to the entire class on the first day and asked everyone to help me get acclimated. The students seem totally prepared to do the complete opposite.
Based on the barrage of questions, I gathered that their impression of city schools was that the students fight each other constantly, the buildings were falling apart, we barely had food for students to eat at lunch, and the education provided was substandard. They didn’t believe me when I told them my old school had an auditorium that was separate from the gymnasium. That was too fancy for a city school! They didn’t believe me when I told them that our school took an annual field trip to Sesame Place amusement park. No school was allowed to do that! They didn’t even believe me when I told them I’d never been in a fight before. They just assumed I got beat up all the time and didn’t want to admit it. My sister’s experience was about the same as mine.
Despite my parent’s effort, the suburb was a more jolting environment for us than the city ever was, and it was based in the divisive culture.
Years later as an adult, I was working as a housing inspector for the city where I was living. My office was located in the headquarters for the housing department. The professional environment thrived off the division between inspectors located at headquarters and the ones working at satellite offices. It got everyone working harder for a spot in headquarters. I was talking casually to a fellow inspector one day as she was explaining how she felt about her position at the satellite office in comparison to my position in headquarters using the house slave/field slave analogy. Completely offended and without hesitation, I asked her…
“Did you just call me a house nigga?”
Believe it or not, this isn’t a message degrading the Black community. It’s a message of unity. I’m so proud of the Black community right now. We are standing together in solidarity. We are using our existence to fight for one common goal. We are not standing for the division that kept us bound for so long.
They knew that if we came together, we would change life as they knew it. They were deathly afraid of this moment. They fought it tooth and nail. This is why they are so hell bent on normalizing our extermination. They are fighting for the frailty of their privilege, the only life they’ve really ever known.
Yes, the police system is here to serve and protect…everyone that isn’t Black.
Yes, the political agenda operates to serve public interest…of everyone that isn’t Black.
Yes, communities exist to support and uplift its members…that aren’t Black.
It’s been like that historically and to claim that that culture no longer exist is a level of gaslighting that is about to set this entire nation ablaze.
Some of my people are peacefully protesting. Some of my people are using their platforms to educate the masses about injustice. Some of my people are using their voices to call elected officials relentlessly to demand justice. Some of my people are refusing to spend their dollars with any business that isn’t Black owned. Some of my people are even rioting, and I’m here for all of it.
From the acreage of rural farms to the high rises of concrete jungles to the multimillion-dollar mansions in the hills, as the wise Tupac Shakur once said “ain’t no one man above the crew.”
After spending a year in grief counseling, I started to see that my life needed a major overhaul. Yes, my boyfriend died making me the single mom of our infant twins, but I was still grieving my loss of innocence from decades of abuse. I decided to turn my pain into a new purpose and to share this journey with others that may need some motivation.