Experiencing personal racism is exhausting. It’s on the news. It’s in my mail. At work when I get some. It’s even in my family.
As I navigate this heat,–let’s call it Traumatic Racial Stress Syndrome, because that’s what it is–it’s as if the land around me is burning. The air is choked with its gritty scent. My home and possessions are threatened by active danger.
My retreat is to a place within where I have learned to cool my embers with the balms of healing. Even so the heat, smoke and flames are always at the door. They wait at the supermarket. Lurking in the woods is commonplace. Don’t even think of getting your brows done.
This is what it’s like to be a Black-Skinned Woman in 2020 America. It’s hot all the time–fires burn on every TV show. Every dinner party is laced with it. My actions are never good enough. I must learn my place or pay the price. I wear my papers on my skin: I do not belong.
Edissa completed production of a short documentary September 2020 and submitted it to several film festivals. She’s working on her next film and hiring a new Contributing Writer for Karma Compass.
Edissa, thank you for this raw and honest post. Your work is so needed. I am grateful to know you. I love the Karma Compass Posts. You two stay well, please.
Thank you, Mary Elyn. I was inspired by a young women who will join our contributing writers. In fact, my pain is real and ongoing, but Sarai unintentionally gave me permission to express myself in a new way. Thank you for reading and supporting our work. I too feel it necessary to stay present in our common experience of this moment.