My husband and I were late for all our morning appointments because we are the world’s geekiest comic book lover couple, and we were still talking about Black Panther as he walked out the door. I’m on a Black Geek Girl high from this flick, and I’m not going to turn it loose. I hope you don’t, either.
Here are a few suggestions (some fun, some serious) for easing back into the world after a weekend of fast-paced, melanin-dominated pride:
Try not to slip up and call your white co-workers/baristas/fellow commuters/door-to-door salepeople “colonizers.” I know that you’ve been called the N-word more times than you care to count. In fact, last weekend was the most recent time it happened to me. I’m saving “colonizer” for anybody who thinks Columbus Day is something to celebrate and for anybody who thinks the crazy in Charlottesville had good people on both sides.
Try not to drive your car the way Shuri drove hers. She was inside a masterful piece of tech that SHE created. You are in a minivan with a dirty cupholder and “my kid is an honor student” stickers, and I don’t care if you’re on the straightest road in west Texas, you run the risk of crashing. Your friends will laugh when you crash the minivan and end up with only one seat left. Having said that, I know you’re going to try it. I did. Don’t judge.
The Shuri-T’Challa handshake is now our New Official Greeting, according to social media, but it might need to be taught. Be patient. Not everybody has gotten that memo, seen the movie, etc.
Barking is a situational decision. If you need to bark at somebody who deserves it (cuts you off in a meeting, disrespects you in any way), by all means, handle your business, I am not mad. Barking at your mom when she tells you to wash the dishes, well, no. Barking at your spouse – NO.
Stop hiding your beauty and creativity from the world. That is risky, because the world doesn’t always appreciate your talents and abilities and will often exploit them. I say this knowing that I am rather happy to fly under the radar because I get tired of explaining myself to people who don’t give two shakes about me. Still. We are all unique and talented and beautifully made. Stop hiding.
Life is complicated. Family makes mistakes. Family fights. You love them, anyway, greet them with respect (Hey, Auntie) even if you’re mad as hell and ready to cut two ways. You try to understand and forgive, and you help them achieve their dreams, especially in the end. Life is messy. Family is family.
Remember: your ancestors will never leave you, even if they’re on the other side. Walk tall, head up, like you have 100s, 1000s of generations of souls giving you support and love each day. Because you do.