The question of race is one that I use to wrestle with. For a long time, it won because I thought that its answers to my identity were stronger and better trained. Looking back, I think that I let race win because I did not perceive it as an enemy but more like a coach, a sparring partner. I thought that it was a friendly match and I am not real fan of fighting so I gave in. I didn’t take the ring seriously.
In terms of race, one of the hardest things I had to do was question it. In fact, it was a question that answered me: Do I have to be black? Because for me, race is about being and becoming. It is not just about who I am or how society defines me but who I will become.
Raised in the South, questioning authority does not come standard for me. It is not how I was taught; neither adults or God are to be questioned. It was understood and I never entertained the possibility. The mere thought I considered to be heretical.
But, the thought came to me. And I was also taught not to be rude so I entertained it. I raised my head, cleared my throat and interrupted the conversation that race was having about me without me. “Excuse me. Who gave you this authority?”
Question raised and I’m still standing. Question raised and I was not struck by lightning. Question raised and I am answered.
I fought race and I won. Get in the ring and raise the questions.