SSD: There are two big questions that I’m asking every interview subject to answer.
First: What does it mean to you to “Be Black” in 2022?
CC: Being Black in 2022 is about reclaiming power. For so often, our narrative has been told in a negative. Our trauma is exploited in order for people to see us. Until recently, we didn’t see Black superheroes. The only takes told about us were [ones] of struggle and pain. Now, while that message always has a truth of overcoming obstacles – we have never been able to sit in our joy and power. But that is changing.
We are calling out injustices. We are celebrating our own. We are calling on our ancestors and we are strengthening our communities.
To me, being Black is staring at the world with my shoulders back, my curls poppin’, and the confidence in knowing that my everyday joy is an act of resistance.
SSD: Ok, moving on to Numero Dos: As a Black Person in America, what’s one thing that you wish other people knew about your daily experiences?
CC: I’m exhausted. All the time. From waking up and seeing more people harmed just cause they look like me. From having to explain why I have a right to exist. From being afraid every time a cop pulls behind me. From worrying about whether someone is dating me cause they like me or because I’m a fetish. From having to work twice as hard to just get to an adverse existence, let alone the work it takes to get to greatness. From worrying about health problems caused by generational trauma. From being reluctant to bring another Black child into this world who may be harmed.
I wish people knew how much patience and strength of character it takes to go out every day into a world that pushes against you like the strongest wind – telling you that you don’t belong, that everything you do is not good enough – and still stand tall. To sing. To laugh. To give thanks. To have joy.
I wish people knew that being Black is the greatest, heaviest, and most wonderful privilege of my life.