Surviving Whiteness

Why is it so difficult to find a survival guide of “how-to” survive white people/ whiteness/ white spaces?? Can a sister get a motherfuckin bone, people??? I have been in Bangor, Wales for exactly 3 days now and I am feeling well in need of a how-to survival guide, because I can feel the whiteness impeding upon my soul as we speak, and it ain’t right. My usual shining-in-glory nubian queen self (lol) has not seen the light here; it’s as if there is no space for me in a place that prefers to keep things neat and orderly, with people who do things like cook with margarine.

I’m trying to write my own survival guide but I am learning as I go – and quite a strange thing too considering that white space is my native space; I’ve spent most of my life navigating white spaces and becoming quite skilled at it, so why then am I feeling all brand new all the sudden now that I am confronted with my nativity? Spending a year away from all of this gave me relief, but now that I am back in it, my feelings of discomfort are at a level that is… too uncomfortable. It’s also that my anger and grief have taken different forms now, they are not as ready at the helm to help me burst out of myself out of necessity, not giving a fuck about what anyone thinks about what I say or do, saying a big fuck you to all the stupid things that don’t matter, like whether my hair is too “wild” or how people will feel if I say the word “nigga.” I actually still don’t care what people think when I say nigga, but then why haven’t I said it once since I’ve been here (I hear myself replacing it with the more family-friendly “homie”)…. like…wut?

It’s hard to be your full shining nubian self when there is no support behind you, and the very settings that you are placed in are configured for a completely different model of human being. You feel yourself trying to stand up straight in a room that is already crooked – crooked for you, not the others. There is the simpler route to take, to try to stand up straight in accordance to the angles of the room, which in reality is still you standing up crooked, but it could feel right for a time because you will have aligned yourself with the room. But what the fuck would I want to do that for? I didn’t do all this “self-work” or whatever, I didn’t struggle this much only to be forced back into having to adjust my own posture (to the detriment of my own health) whenever I am in a crooked room – which, let’s be real, is damn near the whole planet – I didn’t say all this bullshit about self-love only to not love myself and love the room instead.

So how do I stand up straight in a crooked room? Where’s that survival guide? And it is a matter of survival for sure. I am telling myself to remember where I come from, to remember what is inside of me, to remember what drives me, to have a Kendra-esque attitude of, “girl, fuck these niggas, bitch,” but it is harder than it seems and my survival guide is still “in progress.” In the meantime I need to light me up a fatass blunt and start feelin a lil niggerish again… I’m sending up S.O.S. signals y’all! The queen has yet to arrive.

Until then.

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