Just by looking at me, you probably would not guess that one of my favorite genres of music is country. Well, it is. I even have the local country station (Baltimore 93.1) set to my car's radio settings. If you were to ask me why? At first, I would say, "I don't know, I just like it." But then as I begin to reflect and think in more details, I have come to terms that there are actual reasons why I enjoy it.
Primarily, growing up I lived in an area where I heard it a lot. I guess you could say it was built into my subconscious memory, so whenever I would hear a familiar tune, I would sing along to it. Especially in elementary school on the bus ride home, I'd hear it while it drove through windy countryside roads going to my house.
Secondly, for those who think that country music is corny, it can be. But there is a lot more to it than that! They tell stories, it brings happy feelings and positive vibes in a time when we don't feel that all the time. I suffered from abuse and depression and for me, my default emotions aren't the most positive in the world. So whenever I hear Thomas Rhett's "Marry Me" or Jason Aldean's "You Make It Easy," I sing right along and I am in a different place. A nice place.
Being a black girl and mentioning my enjoyment of this kind of genre of music makes some heads turn. I'm 21 years old now and I don't care anymore. I'm tired of being sheltered and not expressing who I am. Country music is a piece of me and I wish a younger version of myself had learned that so we could've gone to some awesome concerts in high school. That's okay though, I still have my future.
People say that stereotypes and racism don't exist, but it does. It may not happen every second or every day to you personally, but it still does. I always believed I lived in a diverse area where everyone is accepted for who they are and what they like but I was wrong. I don't believe my hometown will be like that until we all start thinking in an actual inclusive way.