“If you’re not willing to answer the hard questions about what you believe in; then you don’t believe in it.” ~ Ndidi Love
Everyone, I would hope, believes in something. There are those of us who believe in something strong enough to fight for it, there are those of us who believe in something strong enough to put it on the front lines. With that, people will question you. They want to know if you’re about what you say you’re about. That’s normal. It is easy to get annoyed when people are asking you questions about what you believe in as if to challenge you or even doubt you my Melanated Gems. I had to get used to it. Trust me, I know I have lived what I believe, so a lot of times, I say, “who is this person challenging me about what I believe?” but I had to understand that their challenge allows me to become sharp. Not only will people challenge you, but life will challenge you. Once you put something out there, believe a situation will come to put you to the test. That is part of life, and we should even be challenging ourselves. That is another reason I argue for the validity of higher education as a sharpening tool to become a scholar and expert, being critiqued by professors and your peers; it is not just a piece of paper if done right. I am pretty sure the person who invented the first car did not just put it out there, she/he had to drive it first, test it out, and work out the mistakes. That is what often happens in life: we put ourselves to the test, then the people come and test us, then finally life comes and tests us again. I often say that Washington, DC was the building of my faith, and Texas is the activation of my faith. My, my, my; all the things I believe as it relates to resistance, faith, and overcoming planned injustice towards Black people, has all greatly challenged me here in Texas. I’d say I have always had a strong willed spirit, even my mom told me that, but Texas brought out that strong will a little more loud than usual. I am very loud with my resistance now, and I find that the more I resist, it gets easier. It’s like life is saying, “show me what you’re about, don’t just talk about it.”
Life talks to me, you know, and so do humans. But I have learned that I need to take these challenges with joy, and learn from them. We are not above error, and the challenges allow us to tweak our approach. So long as there is a challenge, there is always a solution. For me, Texas is the challenge of corporations. From the workplace, to my car manufacturer, to my apartment complex, I said “gollee, I have never had to challenge this many corporations in my life!”, but I can say that with these challenges I have been victorious, and have found my strength that I can apply to other areas of the fight for justice. I literally can’t believe I sat there in 2020 and called all 523 seated congress and senate members, and literally typed up a 4 page presentation on my own to present to them. I look back and say wow. What I found is that once you continue to resist and stand up to the challenge, life responds positively. I literally was told by the good majority of senate and congress members that I connected with (70+), that they usually do not, and haven not talked to non-constituents (a constituent is a member of their governing district – ex. district 2 of Louisiana). Although they expressed that they never do that, they were impressed with my will to educate them on solutions for African Americans in such a way, and at least 2 actively stated their intent to utilize a couple of my bullet points to incorporate into their ongoing changes. I didn’t want to meet with them as a representative of an organization, I wanted to present to them as a citizen. I invited others to join me, but they all expressed intimidation. I was pleased to meet another brother online who is doing the same thing, fighting for reparations, on his own, and meeting with senate and congress members. I would tag him, but I don’t know if he wants that publicity as of yet. I said all that to say, sometimes what seems challenging is just a call to act. I have to answer for what I believe in and what I stand for; I have to be the example of what I believe in, because it’s my belief. Again, as I stated yesterday, prayer! I prayed for a solution to contribute to the well being of my people during the time of uprise during quarantine, and that was the answer.
My dears, of all the representatives, 2 challenged me as if I was public enemy of the United States, but I was glad to be challenged, because I stood my ground, respectfully, and I understood that they would want to know why one Black girl would put herself on the line to argue on behalf of America’s Black people. They could have asked in a different tone, but the feedback from others was so great that I said hey, somebody has to eventually disagree, it’s all good.
So, what are you willing to answer for today? What do you believe in? Are you shy when the opportunity comes to show yourself, or are you standing up to the challenge? Big up your chest na!