“You put me on this trial because you wanted a black face, but the truth is you never wanted a black voice.” Sterling K Darden as Chris Darden in the TV series The People vs. O.J. Episode 4
Wow. Intense. Honest. True?
We see within America all the buzz words of: diversity, inclusion, race, ethnicity, and underrepresented being thrown around left and right when it comes to hiring, recruiting, retention, and work environment. Everyone wants the diverse and inclusion employees…. But are you prepared for the black voice that comes with the black face? Are you prepared for the dreads, the Afros, the braids, the Afrocentric clothes, the rap music, the hoodies, the timberlands, the loud and confident voice, and the honesty? Are you prepared for the displeased, the upset, the questions, the impatience, and the concerns?
With the black face come all that was mentioned and more. The time of wanting the face and not the voice is coming to an end. We are seeing on college campuses too many racial events occurring with no real consequences, punishments, actions, or even real plans. We do see the pomp and circumstances of, “we understand the pain, we apologize of behalf of the college or university, this is not us, we have plans in place if this should happen again…
But what about now? What about now?
The punishment we do see is of the black voices that belong to the black faces you wanted on campus. Remember the diversity and inclusion you wanted? Well what are you doing to protect that diversity and inclusion?
We don’t see protection. We see situations occurring and the students, faculty, or staff speaking out being arrested or punished. We see the victims being victimized once by the perpetrators, a second time by the school, a third time by the police, and a fourth time by the news outlets. When the black voice speaks out they are immediately trying to silence it . Those black faces are being arrested, kicked off the property, and told to be quiet because they are using their black voices.
They want to silence the black faces they so proudly showed off in the brochures, in the commercials, in the statistics, in their proudness of an increase in minorities. They want to silence the black voice that comes with black face because the black face wasn’t supposed to talk. The face was supposed to be happy it was there, you weren’t supposed to talk.
With the black face comes the black voice. Are you prepared for that voice because the voice doesn’t soften or go away easily. It is a voice that has many centuries of pain behind it. It is carried on the backs of slaves and the oppressed. It is carried on the blacks only signs, on the we will not serve you, the what are you doing in here boy/girl, the “this isn’t the place for you to be in”. It is a voice that will continue to push and push until it is heard loud and clear. Our voice will not be drowned, it will simply fall back to build strength. Do not ever underestimate the black voice. We know what we are capable of. Do you?