The Weight of Blackness

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The current discourse in America around race has captured the hearts and minds of many individuals and institutions. We’ve seen unprecedented actions on behalf of many organizations in a show of solidarity for civil rights. If you’ve kept up with my involvements over the past few years, you’ve seen me lead efforts to support the Black community through Conscious ConversationBlack Entrepreneurship Week, and the 260 Change Fund. I’ve also advocated for my community as a member of various nonprofit boards (Knowledge BankNashville Black Chamber of CommerceMetro Nashville Health and Educational Facilities BoardThe Equity AllianceWalk Bike Nashville). As you can imagine, my phone, email and social media accounts are full of requests to get involved with the movement.

Despite my historically active role in community engagement, I have been mostly inactive for the majority of 2020. I started the year with a resolute focus on accomplishing some personal goals, and as a result, I’ve had to stay behind the scenes and off the grid. I’ve been maintaining a healthy lifestyle, spending time with family, teaching, reading, writing, and trying to survive a global pandemic. As a concerned citizen, I’ve been observing everything going on in the world and have been itching to get involved. But my Creator has asked me to remain still and focus. I am being obedient.

In lieu of taking direct action on the issues of today, I’ve been mostly writing about things in my journal. One of my recent entries made its way into the Sunday edition of the Tennessean. I penned an op-ed titled The Weight of Blackness as I was thinking about Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other Black lives that were lost this year. Much appreciation and respect go out to David Plazas, Tennessean Opinion and Engagement Director, for giving me a platform to share my perspective on being Black in America. My op-ed was featured online, in print, and I recently spoke to David about it on the Tennessee Voices videocast.

In my season of being obedient, I recognize that I still have a responsibility to help my community, and I thought I could do so by sharing my voice. I hope you get a chance to read my op-ed and watch the videocast. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue.

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