Hi. My name is Erica and I am not fucking okay.

Yes I am a strong black woman.
• I have two college degrees.
• I come from a well-to-do family.
• I have run my own business for 15 years.
• I can leg press more than you.
• I hold up my man and my household.
• I am (I hope) my friends’ most fierce support.
• I love the Lord and myself more than anyone else.
• My clients and contractors rely on me every day to get shit done.

But I am not ok.

You see…
• It physically hurts me to watch a black man die on my screen, because he is me.
• When the the tiki torches were marched in hate, I think, damn I fucking own one.
• When Trump says yes to David Duke, I fear for my life.
• When someone says this is just about slavery and no one alive was a slave, I think of my 104 year old grandmother and what she has seen.
• When Kaepernick takes a knee, I am proud.
• When the NFL auctions a player, I am angry.
• When an elementary school auctions black students to explain slavery, I am overwhelmed with the need to protect those students.
• When a state puts a black man to death when the DNA evidence says otherwise, I feel hopeless.
• When the cops throw a black woman to the ground, strip off her clothes and leave her naked in the street, I feel ashamed.
• When I get out of my car in a Safeway parking lot, I feel vulnerable.
• When a man slows his car down to point at me and shake his head “no” at my existence, I feel enraged.
• When someone shows up at my house and my man isn’t home, I AM AFRAID.
• When I go to work each morning and everyone acts like I am not brown and the world isn’t burning, I physically throw up.
• When I leave my house to go anywhere, I make sure I have my knife.

So no America, you dear reader, my lovely Caucasian friends. I AM NOT OK. I AM NOT FUCKING OK.

You may not see me scream into my pillow, or lock my house down at night, or flinch when I hear “nigger bitch” out a car window, or cry when I am just so exhausted when good white people that are good tell me all these things aren’t actually happening to me. To Erica. To my body. To my mind. To my heart.

No I don’t want to go to dinner with you, finish your presentation, or listen to your media launch. No I don’t want to discuss your weddings, playdates, and baby showers.

I had to punch a hole in the wall this morning so the pain would stop me from crying out of exhaustion so I could start the Webex for the fucking meeting.

I am not okay.

I don’t even know if this makes any sense to you. Because to be honest, it doesn’t make any sense to me. This is nothing new. I have been experiencing blatant racism every day of my life since I started preschool and needed to explain to my classmates why I am black.

Why I am not ok, is that I am expected to work, be strong, hold up my family and this world while it burns in front of everyone’s eyes. And it shits on your doorstep for the first time. And you are in shock. And you ask how we got here. And I never left HERE.

And no one will truly ask me if I am ok.

Because you know I am not.