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  • Melissa Guttman

Uplifting Black Voices

I’ve been observing how many white people support black self-expression in song, but not in speech. ⁣⁣

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We admire expressions of black anger and passion in the way Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé wail at the top of their lungs. But then many of us turn around and critique the way black women speak.⁣ ⁣⁣

Here‘s what I’m learning is internalized racism: ⁣⁣

Valuing black people’s talent more than their lived experiences. ⁣

Deciding that we have the right to evaluate the “appropriateness” and “acceptability” of black expression.


I couldn’t imagine my people being oppressed and murdered for centuries—then being stereotyped as an “angry black woman” and dismissed outright because I dared to voice my pain. ⁣⁣

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I am committed to creating safe spaces for the full self-expression of black people, and I am starting with a Zero tolerance policy against tone policing- in my sessions, social media platforms, and in white spaces. ⁣⁣

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This requires that I use my OWN voice to speak out against the silencing of black voices.⁣⁣

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This requires that I continue to learn more about the ways I do harm.⁣⁣

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Black Lives Matter. Black voices matter. 🖤⁣


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