Hey Anii Gang,
Whew! This is definitely a deep topic that I'm so ready for, so strap on your seat belts because this will be a bumpy ride...
ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!
My blood carries ancestry from Panama, Africa, Jamaica, Ireland, and the Native Land. I can really sit here and go in on any part of my origin but they all lead me back to my black roots. Not only that, but I'm really just here to speak to my fellow Black people. We lack unity and I'm ready to speak up on a platform where maybe you all will listen to me! When it comes to my fellow Kings and Queens, we are continuously born with so much beauty within us. Sometimes it is hard to see because many of us struggle day in and day out to be successful in a society that created a system designed for us to fail. Many of us see that "The System" is not on our side, but given the new day in age we are able to find loop holes to achieve our dreams and goals to be the best WE CAN BE.
Here's where I get into the deep sh** though, just because the system is failing us why do we have to fail each other? In my hometown Brooklyn, New York I've witness so much racial animosity but also animosity amongst one another. I could talk about the white ladies following us in the store thinking we will steal or the nail salon incident where a grandmother and her grand daughter were jumped by the employees of the nail salon. I can also talk about gang violence or girls fighting after school at the park because they have "beef" over they boyfriend who cheated. We can go on all day but let's really sit back and break this down. It all comes back to our unity as a community.
In the situation of the white ladies following us in the store or the nail salon jumping a grandmother and her grand daughter the situations are definitely red flags to stop being customers of people who don't support us and what we are about ! Why do we still go to these big industry stores, buy hundreds of dollars worth of name brand, get our nails done by little old asian ladies, and more instead of supporting our people. Are we scared that our people can't provide great services to us? Are we scared it cost to much money? What is it? Honestly whatever it is, it's bull crap and I don't want to hear it! We all try new salons, new fashion designers, and foods every day. Therefore, trying your peoples craft is not a commodity.
I am no saint, nor am I anti- "insert any race not black here." I do shop in stores that are multi- racial, eat other cultured foods, and etc. However, my eyes are open and I'm AWAKE. I know what/who are for me and what/ who are not . I'm not saying I don't shop at any stores that are NOT black owned but I do limit my self from going to designer stores and buying products from companies who literally speak out saying they are not for people like me. If I absolutely love the product instead of putting money back in their pocket I play the system and thrift it. I have started to take the initiative to look up black owned markets and services to buy from these local businesses. I even use my money to buy from co-ops and local markets. There are ways around this problem some of us are just too lazy to go around it.
This same issue that I am talking about now, is always a reoccurring thought in my head. I long to be successful but my nerves and fears come along because I know my target audience are people of color, but will they support me? I've seen failure time and time again with my youtube videos. I've been on youtube for 9 years and as of 2018 I only have 2k subscribers. Most of my shares come from friends, family, and random white people who follow me on instagram. Don't get me wrong I am grateful for the loyal Anii Gang but I want to be able to grow. I've seen the same thing with my instagram and so many other platforms. I continue to work for my success, by new equipment and etc but its the same results whether I try hard or not. I talk about this more on my other blog "The Struggles of a Micro- Influencer."
I started SAGE ME DOWN as a risk. I have no idea if I will succeed, if I'll get people to listen to me, or If I can even inspire others with this platform? Not only that but there is the financial aspect of my business. This is not only a website for me but a business. So the questions continue; will I be able to get brand deals, will I be able to get support when I open my store, or will I be able to pay others to be apart of this business. These are constant every day stressors for me because I don't think I truly have the support from my community. I'm talking from my perspective but think about your others like me with their own businesses with great quality products.
Let's go back a little though, I didn't forget about the gang violence and the girls fighting in the park over their dead beat boyfriend. It's bad enough that we sit here and let the system fail us, support those who don't support us, but then to go and harm each other over materialistic items and reasons! "NAH FAM Y'ALL WILDIN'." This is how we are continuously controlled, isolated, and manipulated. Use that same energy to gain knowledge, to help one another, to work together.
I went from growing up in Brooklyn to living in Los Angeles. The culture shock is still mind blowing but being here has opened up my mind to so much more. In Los Angeles there's a little town in Crenshaw (often known as the hood) as Leimert Park A.K.A Africa town. Leimert Park is a place I love to go because the unity is so incredible it sounds made up. Now picture this; everything is black owned, there is black caribbean/soul food, black books, black apothecaries, black art, and more. Not only that, but everyone is dressed in head wraps, kente clothe, big afro pick earrings, afro's, dreads, and little to no make- up. Sounds like make believe, I know right? However, it can be like this everywhere we just have to work on our unity as a whole, as a culture, as a movement.
In 2018, BLACK is a movement. We must take advantage of every resource around and continue to bring awareness (even though we shouldn't have too). Take advantage of these black lives matter movements giving us a voice, black networking events, black business workshops, black clothing, black designers, the natural hair movement and so on and so forth. Not only does everyone need to take advantage, but the youth especially. As someone that derives from the "millennial" generation, I can say we are the future and we can make a difference.
Let's break the cycle, break the manipulation, break the isolation.
SEE HOW BLACK UNITY HELPED ME FIND MY SOUL MATE