Don’t listen when they tell you to water it down, to hem it in, to tone it down, to smooth it over. Don’t believe it when they tell you that if you do, it will pave the way, will open it up, will clear the path. Take if from those of us who know first hand, who’ve tried to bend ourselves into so many stunning contortions in efforts not to offend, not to lose our jobs, not to lose our credibility, not to lose our friends, not to lose face. The time has come for us to clear our throats and speak in our Black voices to Black audiences. The time has come for us to be boldly Black in our recounting of our histories, in our producing of our work, in our shaping of our futures. Being Black is a distinct experience that produces a distinct knowledge base, that informs a distinct lens; a lens the world is calling for.