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How to Be Socially Conscious and Humorously Distracted at the Same Time

Satire about Cecil the Lion  #staywoke

Satire about Cecil the Lion. #staywoke

Stay woke, Black people. Times are difficult right now.

As photos from Sandra Bland’s funeral harken a distinct reminder of a life stolen by systemic injustice, another Black brother just became a hashtag to grieve. For many, the pain has developed into a tortuous cycle as activists reiterate that senseless violence against Black people has to stop.

Hearts are weary and eyes are swollen from hours of weeping, but the fight for civility wages on.

“To be a negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time,” writer James Baldwin once said.

Almost being the operative word here, remember the good days matter, too.

Resilience is the exceptional ability to recover from wounds inflicted; be they emotional, physical or spiritual. Throughout these last few years, a new voice has emerged from the Black community. It is a voice that cannot be silenced even when the air is quiet.

But if for a brief moment you find yourself lost in the joy of a good barbecue or gasping from unrestrained laughter, then allow it to be felt as a celebration of your humanity, not a failure to acknowledge the chaos surrounding you.

It is hard enough to wake up every morning and face the inherent knowledge that brothers, sisters, cousins or friends could become the next Sandra Bland or Sam DuBose, now it has to be proclaimed that #BlackLivesMatter because the rest of America seemingly forgot.

Yes, Kylie Jenner is a prime result of cultural appropriation, and Akon is still providing light to parts of Africa. Yes, Drake gave Meek Mill not one but two diss tracks in the last week, and young Black men and women are graduating from college. Yes, a dead lion generated more social media anger than dead Black people ever have, and homeless people in Atlanta recently planted a garden to feed shelter residents.

Studies show that the impact of police brutality, racism and violence can cause anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. So as the Internet provides humor on the beef between Drake and Meek Mill, it is understood that the laughs are meant to keep from crying.

The spirit of resilience cannot be created or destroyed; it is the energy of everyone facing adversity trying to stay woke.

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