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Rules of Engagement: Who will you be when the protests end and we're back in our comfort zones?

Updated: Jun 16, 2020



Since we’re all in a high vibrational state of cultural consciousness, it is imperative that I do my part in this liberation journey to challenge cultural accountability and collective consciousness. Before you read this, please understand that this is not intended to isolate anyone or trigger any negative emotions, but I do wish to capitalize on our moments of awareness. As a hue-man (a human with a particular hue), you do not have to be black to be pro-black.


It is with disdain that in 2020, I even have to write an article about the concept of Pro-Blackness, its equivalent being the concept of Pro-life. Why is my blackness symbolically a plea for the right to be treated with life or the right to exist as one of God’s creatures, deserving of space in this universe? It is unfortunate that, due to society’s lack of connectedness with God (source/universal energy- an understanding of universal abundance, love, and connectivity), we have been programmed to define ourselves by race. Institutionalized racism is a system designed to psychologically, strategically, and systematically impair various tribes based on the rank of worthiness in relation to skin hue, a psychological construct used to annihilate the hueman species. If you are of source energy, you understand that everything on this planet is connected through energetic frequencies and rhythms... So, please read this in love.


Disclaimer: This article is intended for people who are willing to THINK without societal confines obstructing their ability to process new and potentially unconventional material.


Pro-black: The awareness that blackness is deserving of equal human liberties of life, freedom of existence. The awareness that our part of the hueman species is constantly under attack simply because of our skin complexion and that we must actively live and promote life and evolution of this segment of the hueman species.


Anti-black: Any agenda that promotes the denigration of blackness in principle. Any agenda that attempts to segregate or make inferior, the people of the black hue by spreading toxic ideology, negative stereotypes, abuse or killing of black bodies, spreading curses through words and behavior that denounces life of black beings. Any music, media, words, or ideology that glorifies killing or abuse of black persons. NOTE: YOU CAN BE BLACK AND ANTI-BLACK SIMULTANEOUSLY. YOUR HUE DOES NOT GRANT YOU IMMUNITY


The mere act of existing as a black person in America is revolutionary. Everyday, there is a target on your back. Your existence speaks to survival, so no, you don’t have to prove you are pro-black. You don’t have to prove you are black enough. You’re fighting everyday, whether consciously or not, to be here. You, in the breath of your lungs, are revolutionary, but you must choose to be as such. “To be a negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” -James Baldwin


In 2005, I made a definitive decision to disassociate with religion. For the six years leading up to this decision, I was a devout Christian. Always remembering a verse I’d read in the Bible, Revelation 3:16, which states, “So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot I will spue thee out of my mouth,” I chose to live my life devoutly. As I furthered my research into religion, it became clear that religion, itself, has often been a barrier to agape love.


Religion was a way to separate ourselves from God. We imagined that because we went to church on Sundays (Saturdays in my case), we could do whatever we wanted during the week and repent when we went for our weekly appointment with God. We could denounce people of different faiths because we were Christians. Isn’t this the same psychology that, as Africans in America, was used to enslave us? Isn’t this superiority complex, based on religion, the same thinking that institutionalized racism was built upon? I was NOT about that life! I was HOT for the God I serve and chose to let go of thinking that confined my love and ability to exist in God-space to just my religion.


Around this time, I started delving deeply into my origins as a black person, learning, under my family’s psychologist, who then became my college professor, Dr. Dana Dennard, about Kemet. What stood out most to me was the idea that spirituality and the person are never separate entities. I am never acting in disconnection with God. I cannot say I am God’s child Sunday and on Tuesday, curse someone out because he looked at me the wrong way; therefore, everything I do should be in intentional alignment with God. In this vein, I began relating that same awareness with my blackness.


When first introduced to the understanding of prejudice and racism at my alma mater, Florida A&M University, I, understandably so, became angry about institutionalized racism. I wanted to fight the system. I was loud and black and proud. I was Afro-centric, and you were going to know that about me! As my awareness grew, so did my peace, my zen, my ability to evolve. I began to understand that he who angers me, controls me, and that I, personally, could be more masterful in the art of equanimity and peace. I started evaluating every decision I made, asking myself, am I existing in a way that is consistent with Afro-centrism? Am I, in every facet of my life, doing things that promote and uplift my culture as a black woman?


I began challenging myself to understand that there can be no convenient separation of self and blackness where I want to draw the line to excuse my anti-black behavior. In the same sense, I fell away from the church because I refused to allow my relationship with spirit to be convenient only when worshiping in church. I had to make everything I did a reflection of God, Itself: “neither shall they say, lo here, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you…” Luke 17:21 (READ THAT AGAIN and feel it differently). A process of deconstruction began. I had to untie every societal construct that had been decided for me and analyze it for myself. I had to evaluate every part of how I moved, in action, and figure out if it aligned with source energy… and fifteen years later, this process continues.


In the beginning of my deconstruction, I learned the importance of words and language. As Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The 4 Agreements, states, “The Word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you.” I asked, how does this apply to my personal life? What words am I using? What words am I allowing to infiltrate my personal space? What music am I listening to? Hmmmmm… music is based on rhythm… rhythm taps into universal energy systems…hmmmm… is music programming me? From that I understood what my professors meant when they would say, “science and spirituality are not separate. We can use science to better understand spirituality.” Now… that statement is too deep to explain here (prepare for my upcoming book), but if you truly understand science, you will truly understand the bio-chemical, energetic connectivity of EVERYTHING on earth through energy, vibrations, and rhythm.


Extra Baggage, a book about commercialized racism and its impact on self-inflicted genocide, was born through this stage of deconstructing. It was a way to, artistically, bring awareness to the self-sabotaging, anti-black agenda that was being spread within the black community through words and rhythm. It was a psychoanalysis of how we disconnect our lifestyles from our spirituality and blackness. If I could write this book, if I could study this subject for decades, then certainly, I could figure out how to not simply be pro-black when macro-scale injustice is realized. I could certainly challenge myself to be pro-black in action… in daily action… always, everyday.


Something to consider: the most spiritual, most religious, most sanctified, most pro-black people aren’t always the loudest. Those of us who move in silence, in action, daily, are often just as deliberate and impactful. These are the owners of black businesses, the celebrities that fight hard to create space and provide visual representations for youth to aspire to, the financially savvy who invest in assets, the EDUCATORS who promote awareness of our history or simply love on our children, the grandparents, the friends who show love and help raise our children, the service persons, the waitstaff, the janitors who keep us healthy, the food service people who feed us… We each have a role in the revolution, and it requires us to show up, our best selves, EVERY day...and remember, sometimes the shit isn’t convenient… but are you willing to stand for something you believe in? “The revolution will NOT be televised.” -Gil Scott Heron




Here’s how you can practice Pro-blackness as a LIFESTYLE!


Eradicate toxic, negative language and the media you take in and expose your children to


I cannot stress this enough! You cannot be angry with others for killing us and simultaneously listen to rappers brag about shooting up other black people and abusing black women? Ummm… what kind of dissociative psychological process is happening when you can desensitize yourself to this schism? Have you ever listened to the words, bragging about pulling guns on each other? And you allow your children to repeat these lyrics? I understand rapping about your own reality and attempting to associate and relate to the culture, but we can change this culture by holding ourselves accountable.


We can change the narratives by expecting greater and not considering love of each other lame. Back in the day, rappers talked about the drugs they had to sell to get to a lifestyle where they could be successful: “Birthdays was the worst days, now we sip champagne when we thirsty…” Notorious BIG… but they didn’t exactly glorify that part of their lives. There was always evolution in their lyrics. You saw transition and growth towards a different level of success.


Nowadays, the lyrics stop right there… they promote harmful lifestyles, glorify, and normalize them. You cannot consider yourself pro-black and equally promote this lifestyle. Are you lukewarm?


Smile BIG and speak words of empowerment to one another




I used to think my mother was strange AF because she would walk around with a smile on her face, ALL THE TIME! I would be holding her hand, looking up at her, this giant to my seven year old self, wondering, “what the heck is she smiling about?” And as I got older, I picked up the same habit. I began having the same reactions from people. I even had students tell me "when people smile too much, it means you can’t trust them…" ummmm… what?!


We have to reprogram that ideology. Black people deserve to be happy and carefree like anyone else. We deserve to speak love to each other without our intentions being questioned. Unfortunately, we have been so abused by society, that we don’t believe we deserve love. Let’s change that by smiling, speaking to, and acknowledging one another with love. When we ask how a friend is doing today, let’s first acknowledge the 99.99999% of greatness that we can be grateful for. Well, it’s beautiful outside today… I am alive. I have eaten today. I have pooped today ! LOL…


Let’s give compliments and acknowledge each others’ strengths. Let’s speak to the God in each other by supporting the others’ visions and dreams, even if we can’t see them ourselves. Lets connect friends to resources. Let’s try not to judge but to act in love.



CHOOSE RIGHT: Keep the family unit TOGETHER!


I'm of the school of thought that once I marry and procreate with a man, we are in this thang until the wheels fall off. Because of which, make sure you choose the RIGHT partner, not the right now because I'm in a rush and need to settle partner. Make sure your values align, the way you want to raise your children, that you are physically and intellectually compatible, y'all have similar views about money and investing, etc., because it is imperative that we support and keep the black family TOGETHER!


STOP disrespecting black women and black men


Men: I’m speaking to you first because you are our protectors. I apologize for the way society has emasculated you. I am sorry that you do not feel that you can protect your women. But...we need you. And, we need you to ride for us the way we ride for you. We need you to stop saying “these hoes ain’t loyal,” (-Chris Brown, misogynistic abuser) while cheating on us and creating psychological distress for us. We need you to bring us the same peace that you seek when you want to be in our wombs.


So, challenge your friends to treat women better. Watch your words. Don’t call us bitches behind our backs or because we have done something to upset you. Don’t allow your friends to lay hands on us and turn the other way. Don’t blast music that tears us, the mothers of your children… shit, the mothers of you, down! Don’t cheat on that woman and brag about lying to her. If you want two or more women, simultaneously, SAY IT and GET CONSENT from each of your women. A strong man is one who can truly say what he needs and if he desires multiple women, he needs to be strong enough (emotionally and ECONOMICALLY) to be 100% man to each of his consenting, female partners.


Treat that woman right. Don’t wait for her to tell you what she needs. Be creative and find ways to be what she needs. If her gas tank is low, ask for her keys and go fill it up. If the car is dingy, wash it without her asking. Trust me, those panties will come off quicker than the switch of a light!


She’s always having to be tough in the world. She’s beat up by the world. Figure out how to lessen her burden. Find a creative date… hug her from behind. Call and ask how her day was. Open her doors. Tell her how much she means to you, just because.


Women: Love that man...support that man, and if he’s not respecting you, you owe it to yourself, and to him, to VIBRATE higher, and WALK AWAY. Part of elevation is surrendering and letting go of the toxicity that prevents us from moving forward. Don’t pounce on him with harmful language. Don't keep expecting him to be the man that he is not yet ready to be. Let him go so he can grow and love him even if his love isn't for you. Don’t say he ain’t shit because you didn’t express to him what you needed from him or stuck around for his toxicity because you didn’t want to hold yourself accountable to deserving and finding better. Don’t generalize all black men because you chose a poor (in character and spirit) black man. If he’s a dishonest man, don’t accept that.


And for yourself, treat him good mama… speak words of life. Cater to him once he’s proven himself worthy. Fuck him good (that’s his love language… he needs to be in your womb), learn how to love him, smile at him, be light to him, don’t nag… if he’s not doing what you want him to do, accept that this is him and his way and decide if he’s enough for you. Don’t manipulate him. Don't hold onto petty grudges. Don't argue just because. Don’t be angry about his past loves. Treat the mother of his children with respect. And if he has a new woman but children with you, treat that new woman with love and respect. Y’all are a community now. The kids are watching you. Practice love WITH each other, for the health of the tribe you have created, together.


Hold men to a higher standard and you will get the higher standard man… stand to the side and allow him to open the door or pay for your meals. Allow him to operate in his masculinity. Be feminine. Show him that you need him even if you know how to hang your own pictures on the wall.



Send your children to a Historically Black College or University


We cannot expect other people to teach us our history or who we are as black folks. These institutions were designed to cater to your unique being as a black person, to your learning style, to your unique needs, and to give you the support you need, the foundation you need to be a grounded, exceptionally performing human being. It prepares you to operate in your higher capacity. It gives you networks of other, exceptionally successful African Americans.


If you didn't go to one, donate and support one. You may choose to support my alma mater, Florida A&M University (FAMU), but here's a list of other HBCUs in America.


Stop promoting negativity within our race


Stop promoting black culture that exploits us. All this anger and rage and lack of love behavior on reality tv, CUT IT OUT! And we wonder why women hate and compete with each other...


Hold each other accountable! STOP the violence within our race!


Nuff’ said! Stop bragging about shooting and killing each other and stop accepting that your dangerous, bound to snap on anyone just for lookin’ at him the wrong way ass cousin is just who he is. He’s a threat to our existence. Help him by recommending a therapist and finding resources to support his peace.


Get a counselor! An Afro-centric counselor


Trust me, therapy is needed for the simple fact that we, as black people, are HURTING, okay! Even the happiest of us carries the burden of being black. We are constantly in a state of trauma. Let them tears out. Get it out your chest. Talk to someone. Men, it is OKAY to cry and talk and cry with other, strong, black men! Form groups of healing with each other. Please!


And connect with African men who come from strong families. American men who are from Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria… these men have seen healthy relationships of their parents. These men relate to and love on each other very beautifully. Let us connect.


Keep your community clean


Stop throwing stuff out the window or on the ground. Respect the earth you stand on. Respect your space!


Show up with pride… nah, great experiences and expecting the best doesn’t mean you’re bourgeois. It means your money spends like anyone else’s.


Honey, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been called bourgeois because I EXPECT the grandest experiences. I pay good money, and my money spends like everyone else’s, so why wouldn’t I expect the best that life can give? Let’s spend on experiences, not so much on materialistic gains (liabilities). That’s a part of living.


Take care of yourself (health, mental, spiritual)


In order to evolve, you have to have a healthy mind, body, and spirit. This is not some namaste jargon. This is science and truth. Eat foods that promote life so your mind can be clear. Drink water. How can you think clearly when you’re clogging your insides with harmful foods that your body can’t process? Study food science and figure out what works for you and your blood-type, diet wise. Get an allergy test to see if you have food allergens, which cause internal inflammation… the basis for any disease. Exercise to get the blood moving and oxygen circulating through your body for energetic balance and mental clarity.


Stop overindulging in addictive substances that create disease within your body… this includes: alcohol, sugar, wheat, corn, soy (most genetically modified) processed foods, dairy, and other non-organic foods. I say OVER indulging because what is life without these treats occasionally? My grandmother, who eats everything and is highly functional at 97 years old, has always said, “A little bit of EVERYTHING and NOT TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING.” You have to enjoy, just don’t overindulge.


Understand it is a HUEMAN thing: Treat racism like the psychological disorder it is


Would you be offended if your special needs cousin cursed you out and yelled random, incomprehensible slurs at you? Would you let it take away your whole day because you’re hurt? Now, we must choose our battles wisely. Racism is a psychological disorder, okay, so unless someone is assaulting you or threatening your safety, these microaggressions don’t deserve your whole day. I say this very lightly because as a woman who has constructed her whole business and lifestyle to only working for my community simply because I don’t choose to deal with that energy, I am very privileged to be able to choose what to allow my time and attention.

Forgive me if I’m speaking from ignorance in that space.


Understand that revolution has many moving parts. Just because your favorite black celebrity cannot properly articulate her feelings, does not protest visually, and chooses to remain silent, understand that they have fought so hard to create a space for you! To give you representation which inspires the masses. Understand that they deal with more than we will ever imagine and are fighting battles to protect us that you can't even fathom being fought. You have no clue the types of shuckin' and jivin' they've had to do or how many shameful, psychologically destructive sacrifices they've had to make to create space for your voices to be heard. You have no clue how they've had to code switch or keep their mouths closed just to strategically be a voice of the unheard. Shame on you for expecting them to use anger and lack strategy in their mission to advance us, all, economically. Instead of reprimanding them for what you think they aren't doing enough of, create your own lane and show them how it's done... or simply be that person you want them to be.


Also know that they didn't get to their level of success by thinking and moving without strategy. They don't process things the way we do. They have strategically designed an approach to supersede the masses and activate a higher level of perception, so don't think they would necessarily move he way you move. Heck, if you get to their level of success, you probably won't move the way you move right now. Their money is normally tied into supporting their communities, quietly, creating whole television stations and schools to show positive images of black people doing normal, happy stuff. They may not look like they’re moving, but they are! Their existence is pro-black! They don’t have to yell it out. Just show respect for that which you do not understand. (Oprahs, Micheal Jordans, Beyonces, Jay-Zs and the others)


LOVE each other and denounce anything that isn’t love


Create generational wealth and economic stability within your family


Talk about and strategically plan how you will manage a family pot of money. Buy investment properties, TOGETHER. Get life insurance and specify how you want the inheritance to be used. Have a percentage of that money designated for assets and investments, not frivolous spending. If you need help with wealth generation, insurance, and estate planning, please visit the www.healthmarkets.com/christopher.oliver.


READ, READ, READ books… challenge your ability to focus on one thing at a time.


Develop your mental agility. Take notes. Talk about it with friends. Research, cross-correlate, form your OWN opinions, not the popular opinion. Before you speak, may sure you have research and evidence to back up your opinions… okay? If you don’t know enough about a topic or a person's viewpoints, I challenge you to research and develop your own voice, first, and kindly let someone know that you have not studied enough to intelligibly speak about something, yet.


Get off the INTERNETS! Limit your time and access…


Be mindful and curate your timelines to only show you positivity and progress. If someone’s body intimidates you, no offense to them, for your mental peace, UNFOLLOW. Make your page aligned with the goals and tenets you wish to embody.


Stop holding other people accountable for what you will not challenge yourself to behold


Please let go of the word nigga, unless you are specifically using it to denote ignorance… please. Let’s change this term to “sista, brotha, black man, black woman, queen (only if she truly deserves that title), king (only if he has proven worthy, in practice), etc.”


Stop with the SIDEPIECE shit! If you want a polyamorous relationship, SAY IT to all parties involved and be financially able to support multiple families!


Y’all and this sidepiece stuff causes too much unnecessary drama, just for some extra p&*%y on the side. Please, if you want to have multiple women, BE HONEST, and allow that woman to make her own choice about whether she wants to participate in that. If y’all want to promote group economics, let it happen in a peaceful situation. This emotional abuse has to stop!


Now, this is just the beginning of how we can practice the lifestyle of promoting life within the black community. There's so much more that hasn't been added to this list. What are some other ways you may wish to promote Pro-Blackness in your everyday existence? Remember, you do NOT have to be of black hue to be Pro-black. It simply means you value black lives as equally important beings.


In all things, and with love...


"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2



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