Honorable mention — Persons of color essay contest: Tea Floyd
God has plans for you
By Tea Floyd
Time after time, my naturally depressed and angry face has stopped an old black lady, who felt the need to tell me that God has plans for me. He was going to solve my problems and everything was going to work out in the end.
God wasn’t the one who accepted me into college. God wasn’t the one who prescribed the medication I needed. God didn’t give me the opportunities to help toward my career. I created these opportunities. I put myself in a place where I can get accepted to college and get the medication I need. If I didn’t search for the answers to my problems, I would still have issues. I’m not going to wait around for God to hand things to me. Nothing in life is handed to you — you have to work for it.
I decided to become an atheist because I shouldn’t have to rely on an entity to get further in life. The only way to get further is by searching for a solution, by networking, by getting a job. I’m not going to put my trust into something that might not even exist. I’m going to put my trust in the people I can see and contact directly.
The first thing that comes out of my religious friend’s mouths when they are successful is “Thank you, God!” Success is linked to God within the black community, and as long as this link exists, many blacks will be stuck in a bad situation. On a personal level, my religious grandparents are stuck at home, taking care of their grandchildren, and sharing religious posts on Facebook. If my grandparents had put faith in themselves before God, they would have had a career instead of a steady job. They would have reasons to leave the house. They would be doing much more than just babysitting their grandchildren while their own child is working or at school.
Black communities are filled with the enforcement of Christianity. It’s hard to grow up black and not be a Christian. God is seen as the first to be consulted for all of our nonracial problems (mental health, job, college, etc). The first person to be consulted should be yourself. The solution to our problems doesn’t come out of thin air. Someone pulled some strings and was able to solve the problem. Once the black community recognizes that someone in our community is working to change our situation, and that person is not God, more blacks will have the confidence to solve their own problems. We can’t expect changes in our community if no one is doing anything but waiting for God’s actions. We have to make these changes ourselves.
Tea, 18, is from Chicago and attends Columbia College in Chicago and is majoring in art history. Tea enjoys drawing, writing and reading and wants to be a gallerist for children or an art teacher.