One of the things I hate is when you tell a Black person you are going hiking and they respond with, “Oh you like doing white people shit.” Honestly, it’s a little funny but on the other end I know there is no ubiquitous way to being Black. Despite exploring particular music, cities, or even activities are typically seen as Black, how are they any less Black?
While being Black is one of my absolute favorite things to be, I love being around Black folks who are cultured. Black folks who have expanded their concepts of life. For instances, I have a friend who doesn’t seem like she knows the ratchetest (hood) songs and likely makes well over 6 figures a year but she knows ALL of it. She knows the hood rap songs, the r&b and the pop hits. She likes chicken wings at midnight but also fine dining. I have another friend who enjoys gardening and old school hip hop but every now and then she will sing a MoneyBagg song bar for bar. She likes to bar hop but also kayak.
Did you hear about the Black expedition that hiked Kilimanjaro? No, well you should click the link to hear how this group of Black people came together to do something you typically only hear white people doing and it was amazing. And, not amazing for what you think, Black Excellence, but amazing because these Black people got to find community in a group of people who look like them and understand their culture without being treated strange because hiking isn’t “Black enough.”
I post content online about being Black in Nashville but the important thing I wanted to share is that I do the same things that my white counterparts do but I experience them from my own eyes. I hope that when you decide to explore a new city, create travel plans or wanting to explore new ideas that you don’t let the concept of “Black enough” hold you back.
We can Black and be many things. We can be Black and visit the dessert. It does not have to be after a rapper’s girlfriend makes it trendy but because we exist in the same ways as everyone else. We can be Black and sing our favorite country song at karaoke if that is what is on our spirit, cause you know we love us some Dolly and Tennesseee Whiskey. We can be Black visit Aspen. We can be Black and deep sea dive. There are so many unique and beautiful ways to be Black, explore the world from your point of view.
It may not always turn out great but it may more times than not be fantastic. Do you want to limit how much of life you get to experience? No.
So, be the Black person who kayaks, sings Paramore, is a foodie, and even hikes.