No, not my “Black” credit card. I mean my black card – the fictional card every black person theoretically receives at birth. Frankly, I had never heard of such a thing. My parents never said anything about it, nor was it a part of any class I took in school. So how did I find out that mine was even in jeopardy? Alas, it was when I started participating in “non-black” activities!
Not only did I have the unmitigated gall to want to travel around the world, but I had the nerve to want to be wild and crazy and to fully experience life by doing things like bungee-jumping, sky-diving and skiing. I knew something was amiss when people started making comments like, “Now girl, you know black people don’t do that!”
“Um, excuse me, but…do what? Travel? Have fun? Live life?”
What is it exactly that black people don’t do? Because apparently, I either missed the memo or neglected to sign up for the “How to be Black” class in high school.
And when I had lost my mind to the point of dating men of other cultures and races, the comments were accompanied by the clucking of tongues, the smacking of lips, and the shaking of heads…as if I had somehow hit rock-bottom in life and become a total disappointment and disgrace to my race.
So in the eyes of my so-called friends and some family members, the drastic action of a revocation of my “black” card was called for. And do you know what I said to that? Good riddance!
For any so-called “membership” that is based on racial stereotypes, emotional shackles and psychological barriers is not a group I want to be a member of nor are those people with whom I want to associate. My color may be black, and my ethnicity may be African-American, but I belong to the world, and I will continue to partake in everything of it! Whether that’s playing spades and dominos or scuba-diving with sharks and jumping out of airplanes. Whether that’s dating a man with skin the color of charcoal or one with skin the color of snow. Whether that’s grooving to the rhythmic beat of Beyoncé or head-banging to the rocking tunes of Bon Jovi. There are no limitations for me – even the sky is not my limit!
And with that, I’m obtaining a new card…from the “Me, Myself and I” Society. This organization is for the free-thinking individuals of the world. There are no rules, no judgment, and the only limitations are the ones you set for yourself. I hear anything goes in this group, and I like the sound of that! So if you’re in danger of losing your own “black” card due to the way you live your life, fret not my friend. To those willing to step outside their comfort zone, live life on their own terms and shrug off the (misguided and often uninformed) opinions of others, I say a bigger, better and more satisfying world awaits you! Care to join me?
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This story was curated by Sonjia Mackey.