When I first began incorporating trending/pop culture pieces into the content on this blog, I soon discovered that the posts that got the most attention were the ones wherein I showcased instances of black people being victimized by white people. Indeed, my most popular post to date is the one about the Victoria Secret store manager kicking all of the black customers out of her store (read about it HERE if you’d like).
Fast forward a year later, and I can’t take another minute of it. While, of course, if a topic is trending and it is actually worth discussing, I’ll post about it, but I am actively taking measures to maintain my wokeness without losing my damn mind.
Here’s what helps me to remain aware without forsaking my own peace of mind.
- In the words of the illustrious, Tupac Shakur,
“We ain’t meant to survive, ‘cause it’s a set-up. And even though you’re fed up, huh, you got to keep ya head up”
In other words, never, ever, forget how we got to this country, and why we were brought to this country. Our survival was never a part of the equation. However long ago it was doesn’t change the fact that the initial intent was for people who look you and me to be the property of folks in power. That is how the system we are now a part of was built. Never forgetting this truth allows me to not be so “up in arms” when, for lack of a better description, white people white people. This doesn’t mean I won’t be ready to march when it’s time to march, cuz I stays ready, but I’m also not going to fein shock and surprise when we’ve known what time it is for over 200 years.
- I know that outrage is a money-maker. Most websites/blogs run ads in order to stay in business. As I noted in the opening paragraph, I learned least year that outrage brings in views. Views =$$$. Since I write most of the content on this site, forcing myself to write about any and every instance of racism was taking its toll on my mental health. As a result, my income is down. I’m not mad about it, though. My sanity is priceless. That being said, almost every single black media outlet you frequent rakes in the dollars every time you share/tweet these stories of racial injustice. The intent isn’t always about keeping you “woke,” it’s about paying somebody’s bills, and depending upon the news outlet you’re frequenting, you may be paying the bills of someone who doesn’t look like me or you.
- I support black-owned businesses. Instead of investing hours debating racial injustice on facebook or in reddit chats, I like to look into ways I can give back to our community. When was the last time you volunteered or donated to a black charity (read about 28 here)? Better yet, when was the last time you shopped a black-owned business? I wrote a post about the Dove controversy earlier this week (read about it here), I then followed this post with a listing of black-owned skincare companies (read that list HERE). Guess which post went viral? Folks, I’ve found, are more invested in staying mad than they are in finding a solution. I do not have all the answers, but I do know I’m not going to solve anything by sitting on Facebook cursing folks out. Wanna stay woke? Give back. Go into your communities and get your hands dirty.
- I think for myself, and therefore I know that it’s okay to not be mad. Black Twitter doesn’t rule my life. They stay mad. And that’s cool. But not joining in Black Twitter outrage doesn’t make me less black or less woke. I am always always for my people, but I’m also an independent thinker. At the end of the day, Black twitter isn’t going to take up a collection plate to pay for my stint in a mental institution. So if I choose to keep my peace, no one should have sh*t to say about it.
- I keep it moving. In the last year I have heard that we are supposed to be boycotting almost every major retailer out there. Folks just throw the word, “boycott” around without any real plan or intent behind it. Nowadays, when I learn that a retailer is on some racist/problematic ish, I just make a note to never shop there again, and keep it moving. Also, if I’m not covering a story for the blog, I try to limit the amount of time I spend reading about the latest internet controversy. I also spend time in facebook groups where we discuss makeup, fashion, or blogging tips/tricks. Self-care, for me, means allowing myself to tune out the noise and focus on things that bring me joy.
There you have it friends, my tips for staying woke without going mad. Feel free to share additional thoughts and/or resources in the comment section. I’d love to read your thoughts.