Meditating while Black
The other day, as I was speaking about a group of queer Black designers of which I’m a part, a White lesbian asked me: “when does a group exist just so a bunch of outcasts can commiserate about their shared otherness? I mean, could someone like me join?”
“Great questions,” I said, “my response is identical to what you would say if someone went ‘why do you need lesbian bars? You don’t see me going to a straight bar, do you?’”
“Fair enough” said the White lesbian.
I found an app called Liberate. It has beautiful meditations by Black and Indigenous teachers. I’ve always been a Headspace fan. Despite founder Andy’s cringey “I lived with the monks so you didn’t have to” marketing strategy, I appreciate the app for its interface and quality content. It hadn’t occured to me that the experiences I have as an Afropean could find their place in a meditation practice.
Part of me feels too indulgent for enjoying Liberate as much as I do. Listening to meditation teachers who have the understanding that microagressions are an actual reality in my actual life is just so different and amazing. Still, my subconscious feels sorry for the theoretical White people who would be uncomfortable if they found out I listen to Black meditations. Why even bring your identity into it?! Like a lesbian momentarily forgetting she’s allowed her lesbian bar.