Traditions We Should Break


Hi. Miss me?
In the spirit of welcoming possibility and stepping bravely into new territory (in my suede platforms of coure), I’m dreaming of a blissful space for my peeps; black, brown, sista girls and rough necks, ultra gay and straight as an arrow, all ya’ll. When I think bliss, I think of a superfly world that’s managed to learn from, but not be held hostage by self-imposed shackles, historical scars, and the stinging ugliness that comes with being human. When I think of what it would take to arrive at said Blissville, I’ve identified some stuff we gotta stop. Check it.

Traditions We Should Break by Brown Betty
Regret (No fuckin’ thank you)
Missed opportunities out of fear (it’s much scarier to think of what might have been than pick up the pieces after being unsuccessful)
Jheri Curls (I feel very strongly about this)
Homophobia (If someone aint worried about you, don’t f— with or judge them; humanity above all, ok?)
Selflessness (overrated with few real positive outcomes and absolutely no trophies/rewards)
Using the Bible as a weapon of intimidation and divisiveness (God is love; period)
Overseasoning and overcooking our vegetables (not everything needs to swim in a sea of Johnny’s until it’s unrecognizable, people)
Indignant individualism (if we could just mobilize…damn it, we could really get some shit done)
Chronic consumerism (you know you don’t need another damn thing from T.J. Maxx; this is SO hard for me)
Mullets (no need to expound)
Dirty fingernails (ok, this is just my hang up)

What would you add to this list? What long standing, time honored tradition should we shake in the name of personal and/or collective progress?

We keep the best parts of us hidden underneath the minutia and cowardice of habit, pattern, and convention. We settle into the grooves and footprints others have left, often out of complacency and fear. I believe, and I always will, that we are better and much, much bigger than we will admit. I don’t assert that we should not honor the achievements and strides made by our fore-folk. I am suggesting that we make some of our own achievements, our own unique and important strides. What do you want to do differently, better than those before you? C’mon, I need some inspiration.

Me? Well, I want to love. Relentlessly, intentionally, and unapologetically. Call me corny, cheesy, or naive if you want, no matter. Trust me, I’ve been called much worse. I’m not incredibly wise or skilled at the art of lovin’, but this is my desire. And where there’s desire, the conviction of will can take root. And when will is sustained, folks defy textbooks, doctors, theory, and most importantly, nay sayers. So I will myself to love. Each day. In some way, some act or exchange, in which I can be proud. Shit, it’s a start, right?

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up

-James Baldwin


One thought on “Traditions We Should Break

  1. Rena Bird says:

    Gender roles. I deeply wish that people could simply be allowed to be who they are without the expectation to conform to our social constructions of masculine and feminine. Creator doesn’t make mistakes, but we sure do when we start boxing folks in. I’ve learned that gender is what people live from the inside out regardless of the body they get. Imagine if we could learn to embrace everyone where they are. Me pennies… I love the Badwin quote 🙂

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