Taking Up Space
Being Black in White spaces, which is when there's an overwhelming presence of white people and absence of black people, have defined ways that blackness is unacceptable within them. Because of the lack of Black people, and overall people of color in these spaces, it's oftentimes difficult for Black people to have their voices heard, and to overall take up space. Being Black in White spaces means code-switching to avoid negative stereotypes, and changing our everyday appearances. We have to start taking up space, despite any judgment. Taking up space is an act of resistance. But how do we take up space?
We can take up space by creating a community with other Black people, a community that we feel safe in. By expressing ourselves and the things that we enjoy. Telling our stories, and using our voices to talk about things we care about. With that also comes creating our own platforms, rather than waiting on white people to create that space for us. By correcting people when they've offended you. Asking for what you want, rather than accepting the bare minimum. Wearing whatever makes you feel more confident and authentic to yourself. Work on saying sorry less often. Creating joy and not limiting ourselves to that joy. Uplifting others, and creating space for others. Taking up space does not mean that we are doing or being "too much," it is okay to lean into the fullness of who you are and take up more space.