About six months ago I made a conscious decision to cut out all negative images of Blackness. With the understanding of, what I surround myself with is not only a direct reflection of who I am, but is also a realm of energy that has the ability to be transferrable.
Whether we realize it or not, the images, sounds and stimuli that we take in on a daily basis affects our mood, energy, and peace.
At this stage in my journey I understand that, I can't change everything. But in opposed to being defeated by that, I've spent a bit of time focusing on what it is that I can tangibly change, on this journey towards becoming my best self.
Below are three stimuli that I gained peace from after cutting them out of my life.
It's no shade, but the difference between the way my hometown friends use Facebook, and my friends from college and beyond is so stark in contrast. Not to categorize folks, but my brain nor spirit can't take another video of Black women fighting, another meme where Black women are the butt of the joke, or another status from anyone spewing misogynoir.
These images that we take in are who we become, how we respond, how we react and most important yet dangerously, they become the standard for how we think, and likes become substitutes for acceptance. I took some time scrolling down my timeline and deleting anyone who fit the above offender description.
One of my Sorority sister's laughed at me and noted how I'm always listening to love songs as she proceeded to request some trap music in my car. Now don't get me wrong, I will Rake It Up with the best of em, but I now generally only associate trap music with turning up and having a good time socially.
I couldn't help but feel like I was poisoning my brain by listening to the amount of degradation of Black women that goes into the genre. Making a conscious effort to take in art and images that are likened to those I'd create. But don't get it twisted, I'm not classifying the entire genre of rap music as unlistenable. Expanding our musical palettes and understanding of the game will show you that, the music that is intentionally created to aid in our existence, isn't given to us on a mainstream basis to consume. However, since the game is controlled by the white man, all he want's is for niggas to continue to be programmed to listen to a bunch of low vibrational bullshit, to seep into our unconscious minds. my point is, to be mindful of your consumption. Even when you think you're just listening passively.
Before I even jump in here, I'll be honest and say that I still tune into Love & Script Hop every Monday night and I will be watching the next season of RHOA. While I haven't completely cut all ratchet TV out of my life, what I will say is that I have increased the amount of substantive Black television that I consume, while limiting the amount of time I spend on the ratchets.
Watching shows like Insecure and Queen Sugar, sparks intersectional dialogues and challenges perspectives, while aiding us in our expansion. While I could never knock one's hustle, I just love the idea of art inspiring the generation, instead of exposing oppressors to stereotypes and caricatures of us. Keeping those without access beyond a television to dream higher, because that's all they can see.
I think the major key for me here, is that in this season of my life I'm looking to be intellectually stimulated, challenged and informed. So much, that I don't have the bandwidth to dedicate to the negative images of Blackness that plague all mediums of media.
Since we are what we consume, I've consciously decided to watch my intake.