Current Events Identity Culture Lifestyle

Black Un-dignity is Resistance

Katina Stone-Butler

Once again, America’s racist chickens have come home to roost, but I don’t want to waste my time typing on that double high-handed hot mess. In times like these, we must embrace unapologetic Blackness even more. If this moment in history ain’t taught you nothing else, get this hard knowledge: don’t be afraid to be young, gifted, and unapologetically Black. Don’t be afraid to embrace Black un-dignity. 

Black un-dignity is all the things that they told us we couldn’t or shouldn’t do. Bump that. Reimagine your Blackness as a thing of beauty and not as a burden. Be at peace with Blackness not being one size fits all. Let go of respectability politics–in the words of the Immortal King T’Challa, “We don’t do that here.” 

Rest In Power Chadwick Boseman

Wear your goodt hair– relaxed, natural, edged up, loc’d up, wavy, or blown out. Wear your headwrap, durag, flowers, bonnets, or Black Power Afro pick. 

Dress how you want. Wear your dickies and house shoes. Sag. Put on that bodycon dress. Wear oxfords and argyles if you want to. Sport your vibrant colors. 

If you got stacks on stacks, make it rain (and let me hold fiddy **side-eye  emoji**). If you’re in the struggle, take your EBT card to the grocery sto’ and slam it on the counter like you just played the Big Joker. 

Talk smack with friends and laugh like oppression can’t hold you back. 

Laugh out loud. Laugh with your whole body. Clap, buck, stomp, snap, sigh, and cry. Dance. One-two step, then back it up and wobble like a big girl. And if you can’t do all that, then just do the Mary J. Blige.

Don’t be ashamed of being a country cousin. Eat your fried squirrel, ‘coon, and rabbit. Don’t be ashamed of being from the hood. Wear your short set that you got from the gas station/beauty shop/fish market. Hang up pictures of MLK, Black Jesus, and Stacy Abrams up on your kitchen wall next to the big wooden spoons.

Wail and holla at the way they do our life. Cry out at the city gates. Let Soul Food nourish you as the Word of God sustains you (and you can read it in your your favorite Black Pastor whooping voice–I won’t tell nobody). 

Y’all. Black un-dignity is a gift from God because it’s a stumbling block to the indignity of racism. God has given Black people the beauty of our culture for the ashes of oppression. We need to embrace un-dignity. We might as well. We have nothing to lose….

1 Comment

  1. Joel Brown

    I love this!!!!!

Leave A Comment