I get it. It seems more comfortable to ignore it all and suffer in silence. Unlike this plague, we cannot see; it’s everywhere and in everything. Feelings of discomfort, inadequacy, anger, rage, and profound silence molest our tender minds, hearts, and souls. There is no respite. Being hated and persecuted for a Melanated Skin, Killed for being Black, is the most grim reality of a Black Life.

Everyday, I wake-up and familiarize myself with current news. Every day, I learn that more lives have been lost to Coronavirus and Police Brutality or the Lynching of a Black Man or Woman. Every day, I remember that such inequalities and injustice are neither far or a non-existent reality for me because everyday at least one time in the morning while brushing my teeth I raise my eyes to the evidence of an endangered species on this planet, the Melanated, the Black Skin.

Quite emotional, I agree. I’d like to remind you that I am 100% human and although I’d like to denounce them I have feelings, goals, aspirations and if pricked, I bleed. So too are you, Hu-man.

Being me, I’ve had many obstacles and challenges to overcome in life. Sometimes, people, I look up to as friends or confidants discard me because I am problematic. I have too many issues, and no one wants to keep up with them. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, and I get it; tests, trials, and tribulations are not for the faint or weary-of-heart. I find myself alone a lot of the time, and in those moments, I struggled to be with, Self.

I mention this story of Self, because it is the very existence of Black Pain, or what I’d like to speak to as The Art of Intimidation.

On the weekends, I plan the week for my Facebook Group, Life and the Kinky Hair Journey. And with most routine things, I sometimes take an extra hour to gather my bearings to start a not-so-terrible-task, seemingly intimidating. I have in that moment a profound sense of belief that I cannot do such a menial task until I place my first character to print. And as if it was never there, to begin with, that feeling, Fear, goes away. I get the job done.

The second part of my weekend is spent pouring over educational resources, learning things I didn’t know in the form of Speeches, Documentaries, and Audiobooks.

This weekend, I took on the understanding of Trauma, the effects, and affects of it. The trauma led to racial disparities, which led to a Ted Talk on Education and the root of Race-Ism in America, which led to talk of Bias and Race-Ism. And last, a very different conversation about how the Black Panther Party was not this Militant Movement the government painted them to be, rather, a Grassroots Movement of which supplied Food for hungry children, Medical for families that could not afford medical care, and Protection for those under siege by their white counterparts. All of which donations were given by Community Businesses owned and Operated by White People.

Shortly after I ended viewing this discussion, I was full; overwhelmed and grieving the atrocities of a society which preyed on the disenfranchisement of Colored Communities. Ending that video on YouTube and trying to get to the August Alsina song, Work to Do, a big silly smile on my face thinking of the possibilities of how such a sexy piece would impact my life had I the experience he would allude to; that, made me feel powerful. The words of my future writing cascading, the firing thoughts in my head of how it would look for me to present such material I’ve just acquired and how good it would feel to have my peers congratulate me on a job well done. Yeah, I like reassurance, and I’m okay with that.

An ad came up. A slim black woman in lingerie; black, laced, and gartered, she had my attention. I had already envisioned my body decorated in this sexy black number. Faintly, listening to the words, she said as her speech pattern was annoying to me, I continued to fantasize about my modeling in a mirror with this sexy set. The music in the background of the Savage Fenty ad coming to a close and I hear the girl say something to this effect, It’s all black, or I’m dressed in black “Because Black Kills.”

I dropped everything. I was disappointed and angered. As I recalled, this is how we have become labeled as dangerous. Things. No! Shit, like this! A black woman is saying she’s wearing black because black kills.

We must always be diligent and aware of how we are portrayed and never sloppily nodding to those of whom seem to have our interests at heart to carry out the tasks of the portrayal of our likeness. In these instances, the seemingly subtle adds to the bewildering of a people who must glance into a mirror only to be reminded that they are, in fact, Black. That no amount of Education, Financial Stability, or Domestic Programming will prevent us from the throws of a society that profits from the intimidation of making us believe we are not good enough and because we are Colored, we inherently impose a threat to society as a whole.

Yes, it is intimidating to see the police brutality stories file in one-by-one. Yes, it is daunting to have a stranger clutch their bag as you walk by, knowing you pose no harm. Yes, it is threatening to be on your College Campus and have a white Officer physically harm you because he believes you can’t be getting an education there but are selling drugs on school grounds. Yes, it’s intimidating not to have adequate healthcare, voting rights, and jobs that you’ve gone to school for, been educated in, and still cannot be financially compensated as an equal or superior among your peers.

This, my friend, is their Art of Intimidation.

Written by: S. B. Campbell

Photos are copyright free from pixels.com #1 Taken by Rahul, #2 by Eban Odunkur, #3 by Ogo, #4 by Ketut Subiyanto, #5 by Mattheus Viana, #6 by Murat Esibatir, #7 by 3Motional Studio

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