Anger and I have always had a strange relationship.
Throughout my life, the message has always been that I can’t be angry. If I respond angrily to something, people get upset or think something is wrong with me. The end result is that I learn to bury my anger. To not show people when I feel they let me down. To not express my exasperation plans go awry. To not demonstrate when people I care about seem to not give a damn about something. Other people can get angry, they can get angry at me, but I can’t get angry.
I sometimes wonder if that has anything to do with the fear people have of angry black men. Of course, not everything in this world is racial.
I don’t think it’s good to hide your anger. I wish I could be angry and the first thing people do is not react angrily to my anger. I wish they understood how I feel before rushing to defend themselves.
But maybe at the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter how others feel. If they are offended, oh well. If they want to break off a friendship, then maybe they weren’t my friend, to begin with. If they are hurt that I got angry at them, big whoop.
Because I’m tired of hiding my anger. Doing that is just taking poison into your soul.
Of course you can be angry, although as you say it’s more charged when it’s a black man being angry.
I’m married to a guy who’s angry most of the time. It’s exhausting and sometimes frightening to be around him (even though I personally am not threatened). You can be angry, he can be angry, but it’s also okay for other people to say, “I can’t handle this anymore,” and walk away. As I think you’re also saying.
I guess there’s a balance, though I don’t know what it is, especially when you’re talking centuries of choking back anger.