Why Black Rage Is Both Sacred And Necessary For Our Liberation

Many non-Black leaders romanticize the “non-violence” of the Civil Rights Movement as a means to gatekeep how we protest against racial prejudice. But often we have to feel rage before we can heal. Is rage really a good spiritual practice?

Why Black Rage Is Both Sacred And Necessary For Our Liberation
Via Wikimedia Commons

In his book, Love And Rage, Buddhist practitioner Lama Rod Owens shares that anger is necessary for liberation. He says that anger is an indicator that we need to listen to ourselves. How can this be?

Often, when we’re angry we want to lash out. Owens says that if we can check our ego, sit with our anger, and listen to what it’s telling us, we get to the root of the issue: hurt.

Owens says our anger is our body's way of telling us we’re experiencing harm from the environment we’re in. In order to move through anger, he says we must give ourselves permission to experience it.

Owens writes,  “Instead of saying I was mad…[I learned to say] how I’ve been hurt, while identifying the energy of anger around my hurt. I started learning how to take care of myself.”

Owens reminds us that we can be afraid of anger because of the tension it causes. Specifically, Black rage demands we question systems of oppression, which cause social tension.

Addressing our rage is important because otherwise that tension gets stuck in our bodies which can lead to severe health issues.  

Allowing ourselves to feel our anger can show we’re emotionally and spiritually in tune with ourselves. What is your anger trying to tell you?

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