Counseling Center

June 3, 2020

A LOVE LETTER TO MY BLACK COMMUNITY ON CAMPUS

Posted by Charisse Williams, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Assistant Director/Training Director, UWCC

I hear you. I see you. I feel you. The hurt. The pain. The frustration. The anger. The fatigue. The fear. I feel it in you and I feel it within myself. Whereas white supremacy, racism and anti-Blackness are not new, every reminder that we live in a country that has yet to value our existence contributes to the despair, sadness, heartache and hopelessness we perpetually navigate living Black in America. The pandemic of racism, coupled with the pandemic of COVID-19, has left us reeling. A dear colleague compared the overwhelm of the world right now as sprinting a marathon. We were forced to sprint the first few miles, and now we are hands on knees, trying to catch our breath, with the awareness that we still have many miles to go. The weather is daunting. The terrain is treacherous. And yet, we go on. And that is what we do. In the midst of challenge and racial fatigue, we still run. Even when it feels as if we can’t and will never win. Even when others block our paths. Even when they choke what little breath we have out. We still run. We endure. How do we do this? How do we endure? And yes, that is what we must do. Endure. Endure with the assistance of our community. Endure with the assistance of our allies. Endure with our resiliency. Endure through Black arts and culture. Endure through people and experiences that make us feel heard and seen. And most importantly, valued.

I often tell others that a significant part to racial fatigue and trauma is that it is chronic. The psychological impact of seeing perpetual assault on Black bodies without changes occurring in the aftermath, leaves us feeling frustrated, angry and skeptical. All of this is appropriate. Struggling to function is normal. What Black people experience in this country should not be normal, so our response should not be either. Take space to heal. Re-prioritize. Find community. Cry. Take a break from all forms of media. Rest. LOVE. In the time of such pain, I choose to live unapologetically Black. Remember that we used to be considered property, so any act of self-love or care is a form of revolution. Of activism. Of resistance. Of making your beautiful Black life matter. I will support you. I will stand with you. I’m here. I hear you. I see you. I feel you.

Black Lives Matter Virtual Edition of Let’s Talk for Black students:
Friday, June 5th from 11:30am to 1:30pm with Dr. Charisse Williams (author of blog post)

Register at letstalk.uw.edu