When I initially thought about what I would post a blog on this week, it didn’t occur to me that February was coming to an end; and as a black female I hadn’t made a post about BLACK HISTORY MONTH all month (I feel terrible). I made sure my coworkers knew it was BHM, but as a writer I hadn’t expressed how this month made me feel. I sat around thinking of what I could do to express how I felt; I pondered between thoughts of who I’d like to interview, what I would want to talk about, and then it hit me. First I theorized about a piece on how black women perceive themselves in today’s society, then it became how both men and women perceive themselves in today’s society. I knew it would open a lot of dialogue and conflicting opinions, but once I sent that text to my girlfriends I knew this was my piece. I promised to keep an open mind.
My first order of business was to address the title of this article. So I begin by asserting that I SCREAM, mean no disrespect when I call myself Trap Goddy/Gotti; It’s an alter ego I created when I would send my friends silly videos on Snapchat with bright ass lipstick on. A “Trap Goddy” is a hardworking woman. She’s independent and doesn’t depend on others for validation and most importantly, she does not depend on them for MONEY. “If you a Trap Goddy put your HANDS UP” was my classic line. One night my friend was yelling Trap Goddy and someone asked Goddy or Gotti, implying Goddy is blasphemous and I repeat… I MEAN NO DISRESPECT, which is why I added
Gotti, but it’s actually Goddy. My godson calls me Goddy because I’m his godmother. All the Bahamians I know call their godmothers Goddy. Do you love god, I love god, what’s wrong with you? (Dope trap gospel track btw). Back to the topic at hand this is the reason I chose Trap Goddy as the title for this post. I asked some of my black folks what it meant to them to be a black WOMAN/MAN in today’s society, the results were amazing; and in correlation to a few others and myself it means everything. It means you have to be everything for yourself, your loved ones, and your peers. You have to be strong, powerful, assertive, and honest… all the Trap Goddies I know embody this. I call all of the females I know a Trap Goddy if they meet the prerequisites by; working, going to school, paying their own bills, hustling to survive, feeding their kids, taking their kids to school, being a supportive honest person, and simply having a great heart. The same goes for men. I created this alter ego to motivate my sisters, but the term TRAP GODDY is not gender specific. Hardworking men need to recognized too. Therefore yes, I know why some people may see this title and think why would I read that, she’s calling herself a God, but I am not. I am calling myself a badass, hardworking, thought provoking, loving, caring, creative, BLACK WOMAN surrounded by BLACK GIRL/BOY MAGIC.
As a black woman I have always felt the need to protect the men around me, but I also expected them to exist without emotion, which I learned was not the case. My expectation of black men/boys as a young girl was that they were to obtain this strong, emotionless – not heartless – demeanour. If they expressed themselves too much, showed too much affection, or were too clingy it would turn me off. I associated strong with not expressive, which I learned was not the case. So now, I want my future husband to be open with his emotions, I want my brothers to be expressive with how they feel. I think society has created this stigma where men who show their emotions are deemed as “soft”, “gay”, or “weak”. I want my black brothers to know emotions are a sign of strength. I asked my black brothers what it meant to them to be black men in today’s society and got amazing responses that changed my ambiguous understanding of black men.
Being a black man in today’s society means being the successor of Dr. King and brother Malcolm X. Continuing in the footsteps of those like Jay Z and Diddy that show young men like me that being a prominent black man in this world is more than possible. But it also means I have a lot of work to do, that I can’t be complacent with the opportunity in front of me because one I know that they do not last forever and two that I just create more for the young brothers behind me and on the way. Knowing this I too much add to our cultural lineage and let them know our success was neither a fluke nor a short tale and in that they may water a seed of confidence within themselves and be absolutely certain that this world is their oyster.
Growing up in this society as a child of “Black”/ “Mixed race” it has been proven that race is irrelevant to the innocent human psyche. However over the course of history on this planet that may seem questionable because I believe there is a cultural backdrop. Black humanity has been subjected and under suspicion which might be the key reason to understand the evolving perception of blacks more importantly as a result Black males which whom still today in society our intelligence and humanity has continued to be questioned.
I feel in today’s society we need to reconnect with our cultural history educating our people and ourselves on our roots, in a time where Black men have more opportunities than ever before to break free from all negative stereotypes that our peers may have cast upon us. In conclusion what my pigmentation means to me in this society is that I’m enriched with culture and ancestry that’s been captivating the world teaching me to read between the lines of laws, learn to treat myself with the up most respect and no matter how much your back is against the wall you can make it out any struggle with the mindset of being a strong melanin king powerful to use my strength to service my visions and dreams.
As a black man living in America for the past five years it has been bittersweet because I actually got the best of both worlds. You have to learn how to blend with your own color as well as the whites living in Jacksonville, I personally have not truly experienced any form of cruelty due to racism but the intelligence of our society have dimmed a bit. Being a foreigner in America I dealt with more of a stereotype than anything.
It means you need to work harder to get what you want.
Power, because the white folks wouldn’t be working so hard to pin us against each other.
I’m proud to be a black hue-man. Intertwined with the Devine, Trying to stay in a good frame of mind, while keeping it open. Leaving the ignorance behind but at the back of society mind you still just the token…
To be black in today’s society is to be progressive.
Our racial identity exists at the intersection of change.
I am my ancestor’s dream realized.
After reading these responses it made me realize that I don’t talk to my brothers enough. I don’t have in-depth conversations of actual substance with them enough. I think it’s beautiful for them to understand that they’re powerful, strong, hardworking, inspiring, helpful, knowledgeable men. What I didn’t realize was, this is how they viewed themselves. These men are aware that we are transforming as a society, through our adaptations of the latest technology, knowledge of our ancestors and growth as a black community, and want to continue to expand our horizons. They know we need to know our roots, and bring awareness to the strong black role models we have or have had.