Angry – feeling or showing anger
Anger – a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong
The “angry black man” and the “angry black woman”. These are two phrases that I hear quite often working on a predominantly white college campus. A student employee once told me that he was intimidated and afraid of me. I asked him why. His exact words were, “I do not know, I just was.” After further discussion with this student he revealed that my race was the primary factor driving his fear.
I have had many discussions with fellow students and colleagues about what it is like being black on a predominantly white campus. This is an experience that can be explained but never fully understood by those that are not black.
Over the past 15 years I have gone from an undergraduate student to a college student affairs professional. During this time I have never been one to express artificial emotions. I express joy, happiness, excitement, sadness, disappointment, anger, frustration, and more. In a free society we should all be able to express the way we feel. In a professional setting this has to be done at the right time and in a tactful manner. I have never shown disrespect towards anyone at any time during my professional career. There have been times when I have been ostracized from the majority because I expressed an opinion that was different from the norm. Sometimes no matter what I say or how I say it, it is taken the wrong way simply because I said it. If I make a mistake it is magnified ten time because I did it. The truth is that we all have controlled and uncontrolled biases that we act on every day. But if these biases continue to go unchecked, then chaos will ensue.
If I am expected to be a black caricature then I will never meet expectations.
The fact is that some days I am angry. I choose not to spread the bitterness and anger to anyone. I try to productively share facts and information that bring to light injustice and social disparity. I also attempt to do my part by educating myself via books, classes, and expert advice. Additionally I attempt to educate anyone that will listen.
I take great pride in who I am and the urban, suburban, rural, Christian, black, and poor experiences that I have had.
The following bullet points make me angry but they also make me work harder:
- Employment – The unemployment rates for African Americans is 16.1 percent compared to 9 percent national average.
- Education – Black people are dropping out of high school and college at alarming rates. It is even more disheartening if you focus on the brothers.
- Murders – Black people are murdering each other left and right. Just turn on the news or read a newspaper from an urban area.
- Coonery on Television – Reality TV is killing us. These real housewife shows and others, do not represent the characteristics that we want our brothers and sisters to exemplify.
- Blatant racism towards Barack Obama – “Show me your birth certificate and your transcripts” = “Show me your freedom papers”.
I have the right to be angry. I do not apologize if my anger frightens you.
For more statistics and sources check out my previous blog:
To check out the coonery on Television look at this video: