Biblical Scholar, Seminary Professor, Episcopal Priest

Being Black In Public Is Exhausting

Being black in public is exhausting. I don’t know that I can do it this week. Public laments take their toll. Being seen, counted and representing is costly in currency that is not easily replaced or renewed. I live with the reality of being black all day every day. I can do without the performative elements. Particularly this week. I also need white people and institutions to do the work they’re going to do without the expectation of my presence, participation or approval. Too often the few black folk in a PWI have to show up at all the programs, consult on or approve them whether that’s in the best interest of their health, grief and sanity or not. White folk need to do their own anti-racist work by themselves for a while. I am fully committed to the wise womanist principle of being a separatist when necessary for my physical, emotional and spiritual health.

4 Responses

  1. I am white, and our ministry has worked toward Racial reconciliation in Miss. for over 20 years. Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea about this, but appreciate your honesty. I can see what you are saying. Over the past few years we have moved past events to just simply friendships, caring and love, which is what I believe the Lord would have anyway. Just walking in His kingdom as friends and co-laborers. Jesus made it much more simple that we do. I appreciate you and send blessings to you from Miss. get some rest, friend.

    29 September 2016 at 1:42 pm

    • Dearest Mississippi Sister, please know the love with which I share this with you. You said, “our ministry has worked toward racial reconciliation in Miss. for over 20 years.” Then you said after reading Rev. Wils’s truth bearing words, “I had no idea about this…” Sister, keep working. Please keep working. If this is new to you then somebody ain’t being authentic at the tables you are probably setting. I am hoping with you for peaceable kin-dom here in Memphis, Tennessee. Godspeed!

      21 October 2016 at 3:33 pm

  2. Thank you for your courage and your honesty. It was so good to see you last week.

    29 September 2016 at 6:52 pm

    • Wil

      It was good to see you too.

      29 September 2016 at 7:19 pm

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.