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QUIT PLAYIN’: Blackhausted!

Blackhausted – Verb: an emotion or state of extreme exhaustion from the injustice and inequities people of color, specifically Blacks, face every day in America.
— The Urban Dictionary

Blackhausted. I’m in that state. Just tired of being tired. Some days just tired of being tired of being the scapegoat, the suspect, the underclass, the marginalized, and the problem.

Randi B, Diversity & Inclusion Speaker, Strategist & Author, defined it this way. “The Overwhelming Fatigue of Being Black in America.” She even listed some symptoms, and they bear repeating.

The problem with us is that we deal with stress and strife so much that we underestimate its debilitating effects.

She listed going to places that will be mainly or culturally Black. Watching Black movies to see positive images of people who look like you. Avoiding conversations with trusted white friends because it just takes too damn much energy to say and relive this shit over and over.

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I am Blackhausted, and since you are reading this in a Black newspaper, you too are Blackhausted.

Do you ever wonder if your White friends and associates use your government name in your face but call you by any number of Black pejoratives when they are out of your sight? I do! I am Blackhausted.

Blackhaustion truly set in last week. Juneteenth is now a federal holiday, and I am grateful for soldiers like Ms. Opal Lee. However, we didn’t get any mention of reparations. We got Negro Day at the State Fair, but no chance to invest in or profit from the enterprise.

Getting another holiday without an allocution or retribution for slavery just ain’t just! It’s like buying that box of cereal with a toy advertised on the outside of the box and finding nothing that resembles a treat on the inside.

Hell, for my part, they could have made it Junetweenth! Junetweenth is an imagery holiday season I dreamt up. It would be a two- week national paid work stoppage where food, travel, entertainment, and clothing were free for everybody. It would last from June 19th through July 4th…Junetweenth!

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I know I lost most of America when I threw in all the free stuff. Conservatives love to remind us that nothing is free, and they are spot on. That 244 years of free labor we were forced to donate to build America had a cost, and that bill has not been paid.

However, Blackhaustion does not come solely from dealing with White America. Some Negroes overwhelm we with fatigue and anxiety. We still have to fight Negroes who worship at the altar of whiteness. Their ice is still colder. Their word is still the final. Their opinions of us still matter. Those Negroes get antsy every time you mention reparations.

I am Blackhausted with Black folks who underutilize their power and underestimate their possibilities. We continue to languish in the valleys of low self-esteem and camp out in the caverns of self-doubt and self- hatred.

The white man makes for a good excuse, but if your God ain’t bigger than a plantation Massa or a cotton field straw boss… find one. We can’t claim the power of the almighty and then proclaim that the White man’s power is impenetrable.

In her book, “The Symbolism, Logic, and Meaning of Justifiable Homicide in the 1980s,” Dr. Frances Cress Welsing left a plan for Blackhaustion.

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“Black people are afraid, but Black people are going to have to get over their fear. Black people do not know what is happening, but Black people are going to have to learn and understand what is happening. Black people are not thinking, but Black people are going to have to begin thinking. Black people are not being quiet, but Black people are going to have to start getting quiet so that they can think.

Black people are not analyzing and planning, but Black people are going to have to begin analyzing and planning. Black people do not understand deep self- respect, but Black people are going to have to learn the meaning and practice of deep self-respect. Black people are going to have to stop moaning, rocking, crying, complaining, begging.”

I’m Blackhausted and need my Junetweenth.

Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.

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Written By

Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and award-winning columnist.


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