CLOSED FOR RIOTS: How One Black Woman Riots Against Racism

CLOSED FOR RIOTS: How One Black Woman Riots Against Racism

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Update:  This was published August 30, 2015. Remember that day? I do. Driver Samuel DuBose was shot in the head by a campus police officer in the head. It was on video. I didn’t want to see it, but it was everywhere. I sobbed that day. 
Soon I had to find a way to deal. So I took it old school.  See, racism isn’t new but seeing it televised and Youtubed is.  But I do believe that my elders have something to help to see me through……… 
Sometimes it is so interesting to me how misunderstood my culture is.   Because our cultures in this country are segregated outside of school and work, we simply don’t know one another. 
On yesterday, a video was released of a beloved father, son, brother, being, shot in the head by a campus police officer during a traffic stop.  Safety precautions were taken in the area because there was fear that black folks would riot.  
Watching people try to predict the behavior of another entire group of people that they choose not to know under normal circumstances can be quite confusing, entertaining, predictable, and tiresome all at the same doggone time.
Now as I write this I needed to pause on that one.  
 As a child, on many days and nights folks would pull out the vinyl albums.  You know the LPs and 45s.  They’d sit in the floor.  Get comfortable.  
And spend a lot of time selecting just the right ones that spoke fluently to the mood. 
Then carefully put a record on and turn up the stereo.  You talking about bass.  That bass made your heart jump.  The music would just fill the rooms for hours at a time.  Often for the entire day.  
A lot of those days it was a way of rioting against racism, sexism, misogyny, poverty, oppression, slurs, discrimination- but then got the nerve to not know what you talking about.  Man, turn it up.
 So I guess I just exposed the secret.  Now y’all know that black folks riot in many ways.
Yes, I’ve protested, organized, boycotted, and more.  
But sometimes, some of us, also riot by sitting with our feelings and marinating in them.  Sometimes we change it up. You never know. That is what people do.
We meditate, pray and contemplate.  
We write, dance, sing, hum, laugh, workout, knit, cook, clean, paint, decorate, research, read, we change the whole world.
And, sometimes we like a little music in the background.  
(Not everybody now.  Ex: My husband happens to prefer silence in his riots. He happens to be black too.) 
Oh, it does wonders for the soul!
For me, when I come out of my riot sessions I am so much more flavorful.   I become more purposeful, passionate, powerful, and determined. My priorities are more precisely aligned.  
My voice;  my writing, my speaking, even my eery silence, is amplified.  Nothing is just black and white anymore.  All things are now every color the Creator gifted this earth. 
Each time that I start off drained, depleted, and bland.  When I allow myself to riot, I emerge well seasoned. 
 I am decidedly more SOUL.
What was I listening to?  Well, I will share three songs with you now.
Sam Cooke


Gil Scott-Heron
Lady Billie Holiday
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Post Author: Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Expert with over 24 years experience as a speaker, group facilitator, crisis intervention counselor, writer, advocate & activist. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development.
Her Tortie rescue cat MiaBelle, is her longtime co-writer.
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