I have spent most of my life being the token black friend. It was just easier to survive and hide with white people because as I said before, I was too white to be black. With that, I was just the only black one in a sea of white. I was ok with it for the most part. I played into the perception of proper Bianca. I chose the white side instead of black. That was most of my life.
Until last year, I was drained from all the racial discord and turmoil. Hiding was not working. It sunk me into a depression and despair. Waking up was hard. The white friends I thought that were on my side were the opposite or indifferent to it. It hurt. God saw my pain and helped me but I had to make tough decisions and really take inventory of my life. I started to eliminate people and spaces that did not allow me to be me…the black me. I learned in therapy that I did not have to pick a color but just be. Anything less of Bianca does not serve me. I have really tried to curate safe spaces that I can thrive in as all of me.
Two months ago, I left a Christian group that was indifferent to people like me. They did not hate me but I never felt like my voice as a Christian was needed. It almost felt like the Christian bubble was rainbows and happiness. We studied the Word like life was not difficult. I felt half of me. I honestly felt like I had to pretend. There were rare moments where I could show myself but it did not happen often. I was in this group for 7 years. Did I get biblical knowledge? Yes. Was I prayed for? Yes. Did I feel safe to be vulnerable as a black Christian woman? No.
I did fear leaving but I had to cause I was just tired of the black tokenism I lived my WHOLE life. I was tired of pleasing certain Christians ALL the time. It’s draining. So if I am not all me, then I don’t want the person or organization, whether Christian or not.
I found my voice. I am learning and growing. I am still being molded. I am letting go of fear of being this perfect black Christian to white Christians.
My relationship with God is mine. God created me to be fully me. Not everyone will like me nor accept my ideals and beliefs. I don’t have to conform to a “white man’s religion.” I can be whole and me with Christ alone and the people and spaces that love me as me.