This Is My Heart: Kum Bah Yah

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“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love…” 1 John 4: 15-18, KJV

“We can’t go on pretending day by day that someone, somewhere will soon make a change. We all are a part of God’s great big family and the truth, you know, Love is all we need! We are the world, we are the children; we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving. There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives! It’s true, we’ll make a better day-just you and me…” “We Are The World”, USA for Africa, 1985

Peace and blessings, y’all.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know it was yesterday, but I was recuperating from a stomach virus and I couldn’t quite finish this piece in time to publish ON the actual day of love. Nevertheless, I am so in my feelings regarding this particular holiday for a great number of reasons and I have decided to break this blog into 3 parts.Why a trilogy? Well, my initial plan was to write this piece about the state of the union today. You know, all this racial and political division among American citizens? I feel some type of way and I need to share it. Then, I got this grand idea to write a love letter to someone who has never heard how I truly feel about him. I’m constantly telling people that they need to communicate with each other, and I think I need to take my own advice. Last but definitely not least, I wanted to express my love for myself, my heritage and my culture. I grew up with educators for parents, so I have always known the importance, as well as the relevance of Black History Month and what better time to pay homage to those who paved the way for me to be perfectly imperfect Shaunna? Plus, did you guys see Adele on the Grammy Awards?

And so, here’s a little piece of my heart…

In previous posts, I’ve explained that I grew up in Oklahoma, attended predominantly white schools, but graduated from a Historically Black College/University. I was the ONLY Black girl in my class for my first 5 years of school. I remember I got called a ‘nigger’ once on the playground and kicked the kid between the legs. I didn’t even know what the word meant until my Dad explained it to me later that same evening at home. That was my only encounter with racism until I got to high school. No matter where I lived though, my parents taught us to treat EVERYBODY the way we wanted to be treated. Since my Dad was a pastor, you already know what he was preaching in our house: God is Love and Love is God.

It’s important to note that I attended high school during the 1990s hip-hop explosion, when predominantly Black culture began to permeate mainstream pop culture. You saw more White girls dancing like Black girls, more White boys bumping rap music. You saw an increase in interracial dating. You saw more diversity on television. It was a very eclectic time period in which to shape a developing mind such as my own.

I am so abundantly blessed to have experienced life as I know it, because it reminds me to keep an open mind, in addition to an open heart. The friends and associates I have acquired through the years are very near and dear to me. I believe I have been effected in some way by all my many classmates and those experiences have helped shape my view of the world. Sure, my parents laid the foundation, but it was my choice to connect and build relationships with the multitude of people who came into my life.

My point? Instead of concentrating so much on all the things that make us different, why not take a glimpse at what makes us the same? I posted a status update on Facebook a while back about my disappointment in not being a mother yet, and my acceptance that my time may never come. I received an outpouring of love and support, from a majority of my White friends and associates. They didn’t care if I was Black, Christian or democrat, they empathized with my heartache and reassured me that I was not alone. Do you know how much that meant to me? Even better, I went to my 20-year high school reunion last summer and I cried when I finally made it home from the festivities. I was so elated to see so many familiar, smiling faces, but I was overwhelmed by the pure, genuine love I felt as I hugged my former classmates of ALL races, man or woman, gay or straight, rich or poor, no matter their religion or political affiliation. I actually felt the love from people who I literally hadn’t talked to since I graduated from high school in 1996. It was positively amazing.

I know that historically, Black people have trust issues with White people and the government and America, period. Rightfully so, wouldn’t you agree? But now is the time for us to join together, as one nation under God and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I believe a phenomenon like that could actually happen because I believe in the power of prayer. Anybody can clearly see that people are speaking out against discrimination, but we need more people to accept the idea of unification. United we stand, divided we fall. Let’s be the change we want to see and spread love from sea to shining sea. Until next time…

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21 thoughts on “This Is My Heart: Kum Bah Yah

  1. Great insight. Will there be racism? Yes probably til the end of time someone will think they are better than you because of the color of your skin but I think more importantly it’s how we deal with racism that really matters. Community and inclusion always win over competition and divisiveness

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Grew up in two very diverse areas Bronx, New York and Northern Virginia. Although I know we looked different that didn’t change anything for us. I played with whoever I wanted to play with.

    While I was educated and informed I wasn’t bias.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think many of us (Black people) who were fortunate enough to be raised in integrated or multicultural communities have a more open-minded, unbiased perspective when it comes to race related issues in this country.

      Like

    • Absolutely! Ever since my nephew was born, my life has taken a 180 degree turn. Gotta make sure I teach him right so we can do our part to end the cycle of discrimination in this country.

      Like

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