The Invention of ‘Black’ and ‘White’

Division. Separation. Racism.

The fuel to the fire of systemic racism is and has always been division and separation. For over 300 years they have worked methodically to divide us. They have executed long-term plans over hundreds of years in order to keep us separate. They created the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’.

Racism has been woven into the fabric of our existence. We have all been conditioned to view ourselves as separate and different. Our very own lexicon was created with the purpose of dividing us through our language. Those of us who did not grow up around ‘racist’ people were still pumped full of subconscious beliefs through laws, media, education, politics, society itself and the english language. We were taught that we were different than people with a different shade of skin.

Even in current times, we must teach our darker children the dangers they face in our world. There is no way to get around being taught that we are different, even if it is only that we are treated differently.

None of us came into this world looking at ourselves and others differently based on our skin. And, none of us are immune to the deep systemic racism that makes up the foundation of our existence.

Even now, as we say we fight for peace, we refuse to dismantle the underlying cause of it all —the illusion of ‘black’ and ‘white’. Just like the Civil Rights Act only appeared to abolish Jim Crow, it appears as if whatever change this revolution brings, there is no way to create the ultimate change without the abolition of the illusion of ‘black’ and ‘white’. We can soothe the symptoms of this illusion by making surface changes. But until we rebuke the illusion itself, it will maintain it’s power over us.

They have done such a good job, that speaking of completely destroying the concept of black and white does not even completely make sense. On a grand scale, our experiences have been so different and the consequences have been so unbelievably brutal and horrific for ‘black people’, that it seems as if there may be no way for us to ever be ‘the same’ again. It has become a part of who we are. It is our history. We have lived in different worlds.

‘Black and white’ is what we know. These are the words we use to communicate. I couldn’t even articulate these thoughts without the separation of black and white.

The illusion of black and white was created to divide us, because united we are too powerful. It is the ultimate oppressor of all people. It is the foundation of systemic racism. But, we are standing on black and white to make change. My sincere question is, how do we dismantle a system while holding onto it’s foundation for our own support?

Written by Holly Kellums

Originally published on

Featured image by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

Published by hollykellums

Internationally Published Author * Influencer * Recovery Coach * Human Potential Activist

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