Biblical Scholar, Seminary Professor, Episcopal Priest

Dont Ask Me How I Am

Don’t ask me how I am if you don’t want to know. If you can’t handle it. If you will need me to help you understand. Just don’t ask. You know how I am. How we are.

I am not ok. We are not ok. I am not safe. We are not safe.

I am not safe as a woman. I am not safe in America. I am not safe because I am black. I am not safe because I have a Ph.D. because I am black. I am not safe because I am middle class or even upper middle class because I am a black woman. I am not safe because I am an American because I am black and a woman.

My Episcopal priest’s collar will not keep me safe. I am not safe in this liberal Christian institution. I have been called nigger in the chapel of one of these seminaries. And I have had white faculty and administration colleagues white-splain to me that just because the student used the word nigger in a sentence while talking to me didn’t mean that she was calling me a nigger. I didn’t understand. I remember being forced to apologize for calling that place a plantation because I hurt the feelings of a white lady. And I did. I didn’t have tenure. I have tenure now. And I am not safe because I have tenure because I am black and a woman in America.

Don’t ask me what you already know.

Just keep playing Strange Fruit and Mississippi Goddamn until you get it.

And then let’s make the world safe for our children.

9 Responses

  1. Dr. Gafney the heartbeat of your words mirrors the heartbeat of mine.

    15 July 2013 at 11:56 am

  2. avatar
    pehall2013

    We are in Sync. I echo your words and sentiments. Thank you.

    15 July 2013 at 1:37 pm

  3. avatar
    Prince A. Campbell

    God got us, but we need to dress for spiritual war we are in by putting on the full armor of God before getting out of bed, and Psalm 91 at night.

    Let me prophecy to you, now. God is raising up Himself a people. A people that find will refuge only in Him. That people is us, but we must submit our idiots to Him and let Him know as race We need him.

    He heard the prayers of that Trayvon’s mother. He heard my prayer and the many other that prayed. You know He takes what Satan meant for evil and turn it around for the Good of those He love. You keep watching and expecting. For this is the beginning of something big.

    The first shall be last and the last first. The last. It takes time to DE-thrown the devil strongholds and wake-up a sleeping people, but it’s coming economically. Something big is going to happen that will bring this dehumanizing spirit to it’s knees, and their riches will come to us.

    You remember the story of Joseph, and how God shuffle Joseph around until He got grew up and in place. Surrounding nation gave up their wealth for food.
    God gave me a plan in 2005 of survival for the urban area which is where most of us reside. Where God is the people proper. Keep the faith, sister. We are going through a process of God humbling us.

    15 July 2013 at 2:14 pm

  4. avatar
    J.Marie

    It is time to send for The Wailing Women, Jeremiah 9:17-21. Black Mothers are tired of sitting in courtroom after courtroom through out this country from Emmett Till’s mother to now the mother of Trayvon Martin, watching and testifying against those who have taken the lives of their children only to see them set free.

    15 July 2013 at 6:37 pm

  5. I am not Black, and would not ever presume to say that I understand how you feel. But I am the mother of a biracial son– an 18-year-old human being, a mix of saint and sinner (as we all are) who sometimes wears hoodies, likes Skittles, and walks down the street after dark. On his behalf, I am afraid. That piece of my heart walking around outside of my body is not safe. Lord, have mercy.

    15 July 2013 at 6:37 pm

  6. I’m afraid that this act of White Supremacy is being discussed as if being treated unfairly in the courts and by police are our only worries. Racism is systemic in our society, it is in every facet of our it. We are academically impaired, economically impoverished,our health intolerable, and we are psychologically abused daily. So, let’s be careful in expressing our dilemma in this society. Let’s cover everything! Even our self-hatred.

    17 July 2013 at 6:47 am

  7. avatar
    Gail Krahenbuhl

    I won’t ask you how you are because I know. My son and Trayvon are 20 days apart. I wonder when I will be okay again?

    17 July 2013 at 11:33 pm

  8. …just thank you. Thank you.

    18 July 2013 at 8:20 am

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