As the voices of many have grown louder and angrier, we’ve been silent. As a black man and black woman in America, one might assume that we’d have a lot to say on race, on injustice, on inequality, on violence, on centuries of ingrained trauma, on black men, on black women, on black death, on black lives, on black success, on black failure, on black anger, on blackness. But the more we thought about what we had to say, the more the silence grew.
It’s become overwhelming to think about the trauma and inequality that we have not only faced in our own lives, but that which has created the collective “Black Experience” in America. For us, the Black Experience is to have shouldered the weight of silence, a silence that has lingered since the inception of slavery.
It’s to shrug off insidious micro-aggressions for the sake of mental wellbeing, it’s to hang back in the shadows of your own business to ensure you give yourself every chance to win. It’s shape-shifting to be relatable, to not be a threat, it’s working thirty times harder to ensure you can defy preconceived notions, it’s denying those that judge or fear us the opportunity to say “I told you so”.
Racism comes in many different forms, which is why it’s important for everyone to speak up and share their collective experiences. It’s the only way to weed it out, to confront it head-on. It shouldn’t have taken many brutal, unnecessary, and horrific deaths to arrive where we are now. Racism is deep: it’s deeper than any in-feed post, think-piece, podcast, or blog could ever try to satisfy. Speaking out has been troublesome for us both and not because we don’t know what to say—it’s where do you even start?
We accept that there is work to be done and we are ready to do the work.
Read more about the work here.
Co-founders of The Charles Group