How to Share the Traumatic Black Experience

Every time I open social media I have to prepare myself. I prepare myself for another video, another report, another death, or another rant of racism. The Black experience is one of trauma. The experience is one many Black people do not want to talk about or deal with on a day-to-day basis. I was talking to a friend and it came up. He didn’t want to talk about it. The experience of the Black man and woman in America is traumatic and maybe we should talk about how to discuss it. How do we handle discussing this experience?
The first example is adding trigger warnings to videos and posts about the deaths of people. This may seem small and insignificant but I could help someone who’s on edge avoid the content. I remember when I saw the video for Elijah Mcclain. I wasn’t prepared to hear or see what I saw. The young man didn’t sound like he understood the situation he sounded so young and confused. I had to turn it off. I read they drugged him and I was shocked and anxious the rest of the day. The biggest example would be George Floyd where we watch a man die for 9 minutes. Adding a trigger warning before you post a video or share the details could protect someone’s mental health.
Another way to protect someone’s wellbeing is to ask if they have to capacity to have the conversation. We sometimes forget to ask the people we know if they are comfortable discussing a topic. A simple question like “do you have the energy” or “Hey can we talk about X topic?” is important. This gives the person a chance to decide if they want to discuss the topic at hand. They get a chance to protect themselves and it doesn’t allow the topic of Black deaths to be normalized.
We have grown so accustomed to social media’s info-dumping that we begin to indulge in it. We share videos, comments, content, and more without hesitation. Caring little for the people who may follow us or see our content we post indiscriminately. Maybe we watch what we post or show more concern for who sees it. We could show some signs of courtesy. Just an idea to keep in mind as the problem continues to show itself and shows little sign of stopping anytime soon. But that’s just my opinion.

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