Why Can't We...
Why is it that every time we choose to voice our opinion about something that directly affects our group, or demographic, it's suggested that we just be silent and do our job. Whether the world likes to admit it or not, we are a very talented and compassionate people. We, meaning Black people, people of African descent, descendants of the African diaspora (both voluntary and involuntary).
We can be both passionate and have a purpose. And sometimes our purpose is bigger than our passion; so our purpose must be put at the forefront.
When those of us who have a platform reach a certain point in their careers, where they are able to openly voice their opinions (because they know they will be heard) express their disdain about certain inequalities or unfair and unjust practices, they're told to stick to what they know. Lebron was told to "Shut up and play basketball", and now Serena is being told to "Focus on tennis". Contrary to popular belief, we are very complex individuals; and are very capable of being great and living in greatness at the same time.
We don't have the luxury of having our issues heard or addressed just because they're issues. Our issues don't affect the majority, so it's not a pressing matter. It's imperative for us, as a community, to have someone that looks like us, who has had the same experiences, and can relate, to speak on our behalf and bring ceratin issues to light. And for a person to have a dilemma, telling another professional what they should do, shows their privilege.
It makes others nervous when we show them that we can do more than what they know us to be good at. Our greatness is either seen as sheer entertainment or their profit. If what we do outside of our talents interfere with the two, then there's a problem. That's why it's "suggested" that we focus. Us disagreeing with the ways of this world is not entertaining, and makes them no money. Although it does empower those that look like us to pay attention, organize and initiate change.
The power we hold can be so intimidating.
But for those of us that know who we are, and are sure about what it is that we are supposed to be doing, we see that as a personal issue and not our problem.
Serena is a force to be wreckoned with. This is evident. And every time she exudes greatness, there's something that has to be said. Everyone was fawning over the two sisters from Compton with the colorful beads in their hair, who entered the game of tennis and dominated it. Now when that same little girl shows passion she is seen as emotional, questions authority and is seen as unsportsmanlike, wears a compression catsuit and gets it banned. The irony.
Don't let their discomfort stop your greatness.
It's not up to anyone else what your focus should be. Whether you have the platform or not, speak out about the things that move you, initiate the change that needs to be made, and inform and educate those around you so it's not just a moment but a movement.