In 1925, Langston Hughes published the poem “I, Too, Sing America,” eloquently putting into words the yearning for equality by many people who are black. While many things have changed, inequalities abound. For black and brown communities the realities of these inequalities must be juxtaposed with the strength, beauty, and brilliance of their culture. How does one navigate such a society? How does one instill hope for brighter tomorrows and claim their place in America?
Join Rev. Dr. TLC as she talks with Schercitha Miller, as they share the joys, complexities, and sometimes painful experiences of living in America. Their strong family legacy of social justice is the bedrock for their commitment to serve, uplift, and empower all people, in general, but Black Indigenous People of Color, in particular. You don’t want to miss this dynamic mother-son duo as they share their personal and professional experiences with dismantling racism.
Terrlyn begins the show with breathing exercises. Reminding us to breathe and to become conscious of our breathing. This helps us to center and focus. Breath in unity and breath out division. Breath in awareness and breathe out our ignorance. Acknowledge that you are enough. Terrlyn starts the discussion by defining internalized racism. She defines it as when a POC values skin that is lighter over skin that is darker. When you believe white culture is superior to all other cultures. She also connects this to the commonly used term colorism. She points out the effects that colorism has had on Hollywood and the black community. Terrlyn introduced her guest Scheritcha Miller. Miller has been in the healthcare industry for over 42 years. She has her masters in healthcare administration as well as Management and Leadership. Right now she is working on getting her doctorate. Miller goes to talk about her experiences with colorism. She shared stories about how strangers and family have been the cause of her trauma and internalized self-hate. Miller talked about how her mother would give her bleach baths and her cousins would discourage her from aiming high in her career because of her darker complexion.
After the break, Miller shared more about her experience growing up with a darker complexion and the bullying she endured. She found herself not knowing her self-worth. She was surrounded by girls who were treated as though they looked more beautiful because of their looser curled hair or lighter skin. She mentioned that it wasn’t until she had children of her own that she was able to acknowledge her beauty and self-worth. Miller also talked about forgiving her mother for how she treated her growing up. Terrlyn added how it is healthy to forgive older generations for the lack of knowledge and awareness.
After the break Miller talks about how being darker affected her romantic relationships throughout her life. Miller recalls several times her ex-husband would insult her out of anger, calling her things like “monkey”. Miller shared how these instances would affect and compound her own poor sense of self. Terrlyn and Miller talked about love yourself and knowing your worth in order to not be affected by the hate that is inflicted on us.
Coming back from the break, Terrlyn asks Miller what would she say to encourage people who were victims of colorism and their families? Miller encourages parents to embrace their children for who they are. As an employer, Miller suggests not to judge people by the color of their skin or even name. She encourages employers to get to know their possible employees for who they are. Towards the end of the show Terrlyn asked her audience if there’s a difference between a black male vs. a black female in their daily life or professional life.
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