Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Generation Y and Z Melanin Speaks…Shut Up and Listen.

July 9, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.com) I hang around a lot of people who are older than me. I have been labeled as an “old soul” who is well beyond her years in wisdom, actions, and musical tastes.  Nonetheless I have also been the victim of tongue lashings by older women of color for the lack of activism and attention that Generation Y and Z pays to social injustices and current events.  According to these “seasoned” women, we are more focused on “fake hair and popularity appearance” and “who’s fighting on Basketball Wives” and “the Snapchat filter”.

Obviously,  these women have not cleaned their bifocals contact lenses lately.

Young women of color are speaking up and out on injustices that happen everyday, and it is not just with a social media filter.  They use their voice as a weapon of mass destruction to take on whole countries and their governments, to save the lives of fellow and future generation members, and to deliver races from hatred from other races.

Helen of Troy’s story will have you believing that the only thing women are good for are starting wars.  This is not true.  Women of color in Generation Y and Z have battled and bruised along with men for the right to justice.  One country that knows this firsthand is Sudan.  A year has almost passed and Sudan’s citizens are still battling for fair treatment after the dictator-like treatment of President Omar al-Bashir.   As a result, women have in the trenches protesting the Sudanese government while paying homage to the activist that came before them. According to Shirin Jafari’s article, “It shows a young woman in a traditional Sudanese outfit called the thobe. She is standing on the roof of a white car. Her index finger is pointing to the sky, and she is surrounded by a sea of protesters — mostly women.”  The woman in the photo, a 22 year old college student majoring in Engineering, is calling out the Sudanese government for their unfair treatment of its citizens.  These women may not have started the war, but they have every intention of ending it. They are not the only women of color trying to save a future generation.

High School Musical and shows that are similar will have you believing that high school is this “awesome” place where kids learn and their only concern is about popularity status among their peers.  Then,  America walks in, squashes that belief, stomps on it 11 times, and walks you into a building where bullets are flying in the midst of teachers so bogged down in paperwork that all students can do is duck and work on their computers.  One student who has experienced said bullets is Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of Stoneman Douglas High School’s shooting in Parkland, Florida. Instead of waiting for others to protest, she made it her mission to fight for laws on gun control and gun violence.  She used her pain to propel her power:  “Every time we see more and more instances of gun violence, it feels exactly like it did when we lived through that day in our own history…And it just continues to push us forth in our fight against gun violence and towards policies that will prevent it from happening.”  Gonzalez not only fights as a woman of color, but she also fights for future generations so that they may live.

Many Black History Month programs and trivia taught me the struggles and successes men like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and others have had in order to help black people be a fair part of American society.   Women of color have also taken that charge in order to help end unjust violence against children, youth, and men.  38 year old Alicia Garza in cooperation with two other women founded the Black Lives Matter organization.  These women have a passion for making sure their race is seen as important as others. In an interview with Chris Hayes, Alicia explains the reason for creating the organization: “…I was trying to communicate is that I love black people, and I don’t think that we are dysfunctional. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with us. I think that we are incredibly resilient under the worst kinds of circumstances. And that’s really what Black Lives Matter was for me. And that’s why I said black people, I love you. I love us. And that our lives matter. And that we matter. And that black lives matter.”  Their empathy for their culture and ethnicity led to an organization that still works diligently to uplift black people and black lives.

I know it is so easy to be distracted by long blond extensions, outrageous outfits that expose breasts and butts, and foul language you would probably consider to be “offensive”. I know Generation Y and Z appears selfish and unconcerned.  That 10% to 15% does not speak for all of us.  Some of us are genuinely concerned about what happens to our future more than our future status on Twitter.  If we seem distracted sometimes, it is because we have seen so much negativity that it is hard to focus on positives.  Women of color like those in Sudan and here in the United States prove that we stand for something when it is wrong. We believe in fairness. We want change so badly that we are willing to sacrifice data plans and phone chargers for it.  We promise we are using our melanin for good. We just simply want you to listen, support, and help us along the way.

Staff Writer; J. W. Bella

May also follow this talented sister online over at; JWB Writes.

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