The other day, I heard my husband listening to some white Tiktokers using appropriated AAVE (African American Vernacular English, more colloquially known as ‘ebonics’) and it really pissed me off.
My white husband, in typical white person form, said this to me:
“If you get angry about every time someone appropriates AAVE, you’ll just walk around being angry all the time.”
He’s not wrong.
But also, here’s where he, his whiteness, and the general way that we’re socialized to deal with our emotions miss the point:
Anger isn’t a bad, unhelpful feeling here.
It’s me, as a Black person, recognizing that something is wrong and saying “no” to injustice.
It’s my emotions and body creating rightful boundaries around the way me and my culture are treated.
Even though it isn’t always a pleasant emotion to experience, it’s actually a completely correct response to what’s happening in this moment.
A white supremacist world wants me and people like me to tamp down our anger, because when I’m ignoring this boundary, I stay complacent, docile, and controllable.
But when I don’t ignore my anger?
Well, I stop accepting the bullshit of a white supremacist world.
I stop accepting injustice, and start demanding a more just, liberated world.
I write emails like this, which awaken other leaders of color like you.
I take action.
If you don’t believe me that anger has a purpose, you don’t have to look any further than our current events.
The number of individuals calling our government representatives, sending emails, protesting, and continuing to uplift Palestinian voices on the daily – a lot of that action comes from embracing and harnessing our collective anger.
That is the power of anger.
(And even if our world doesn’t want you to believe it, you do have power.)
I know you likely struggle with feeling like it’s okay to feel angry.
It likely feels super uncomfortable, wrong, or unpleasant.
But I want you to hear me when I say this:
Your anger is nothing to be ashamed of, or fear.
Your anger is your body’s way of telling you a boundary has been violated.
Your anger is not only correct, but it’s such a valuable, helpful emotion that can tell you what’s wrong, and what needs to be changed.
If you struggle with allowing yourself to fully access your anger…
…or you don’t have any spaces where you can express your anger without someone telling you to “calm down”….
In my 1:1 coaching containers, I do the opposite of what a white-supremacist world wants me to do:
I honor your anger.
Together, we validate the reasons why your anger is correct and deserved, support you to find healthy ways to process your anger, and we create action steps around what you want to do with the information your anger has given you.
It’s powerful work that leads to you being a more emotionally regulated, less anxious, and more fully expressed leader of color.
(In other surprising news, when you let yourself feel your anger, you actually feel happier too.)
If you’re interested, let’s schedule a time to talk.
It’d be such an honor to work with you.