Jasmyn Wright, 29, Educator.
Blackness in the future, to me, looks like confidence.
This confidence should be worn on our sleeves, as it will be present in how we carry and interact with ourselves and others. It resembles an affirmative form of self-love and pride. With this confidence, we are not afraid to be unique. We embrace the kinks and coils of our hair, and smile at our features and reflections in the mirror.
We can rock dreadlocks or afro puffs without worrying about not being appropriate during job interviews. We don’t have to code-switch when we are out in public because our lingo would be embraced as a creative and cultural form of vernacular. We already know who we are and, therefore, don’t have to prove to others that we know how to “speak well.” Confident Blackness sounds like “Wayment” and “Giirrlll”, without worrying about being judged about sounding “too Black.” In fact, in the future that is a compliment. Blackness in the future is confidently bold and proud.
Blackness in the future looks like continued advocacy.
We support the dream of each other, and extend our arms to our brothers and sisters who need a lift. We speak up and speak out against social and racial injustices. We don’t stop until justice is served. We know the power of prayer and collective. Our voices are strong, unified, and echoing across legislation and law. Embodying the strength and grit of our ancestors, Blackness in the future refuses to bow down and settle. We demand equitable education for students in the hood. We use our words to fight until the little boys and girls from the underserved community get the same opportunities in schools as the little boys and girls do in flourishing communities.
Blackness in the future, to me, looks like investment.
We invest in our children. We expose them to cultures, conversations, literature, and, most importantly, their history. We help them maximize their potential by instilling life lessons and providing them exposure. We invest in our communities. We invest in our educational system. We invest in ourselves. We invest in Black businesses. We invest in each other.
Blackness in the future, to me, looks like success.
It looks like legacies of Serena Williamses, Barack Obamas, Michelle Obamas, Colin Kaepernicks, Tupac Shakurs, Oprah Winfreys, Jackie Robinsons, Jay-Zs, Beyonces, Denzel Washingtons, Simone Bileses, Diddys, Will Smiths, Marley Diases, Madame CJ Walkers, and Gabrielle Unions. It looks like undeferred dreams and exercised passions.
As an educator, it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. By seeing the larger picture, it makes me give 110% to my students. In my classroom, we don’t just learn about ABCs and 123s. We learn answers to questions such as, “Who are you?”, “Do you know where you come from?”, “What will you do to make a difference in the world?”, and “How will you use your voice and gift to make a difference?” It’s why I say phrases such as, “Push Through!”, “Believe in Yourself!”, and “You Matter!”
If Blackness in the future is combined with all of the above, we will undoubtedly set a non-negotiable standard for ourselves and force others to abide by it.
Jasmyn's Revolutionary Picks:
A mix of Tupac, the sung and unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X.