NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Vol 17.2: Fall 2017 - Page 24

Now, the Culture creates Code. The Code is this: We do not speak about your pain. We do not break down; we are strong. The Code creates super humans. A pride in how much you can carry without breaking down, because if you dare break the Code, then you are automatically a failure. I think it is funny, you know, how society thinks softness isn’t a part of strength. Culture of silence creates a code that masking your pain, denying your story, and not telling it, is how it has always been, and how it should be. The Code will use tradition; it will compare you to others; it will shame you into not owning and telling your story of surviving. The Code makes it okay for my friends on that Friday night to sit and discuss what happened to them but never to speak about it outside, never to confront their anger or feeling of betrayal by some family members who knew but told them to say nothing about their abuse and in one case, a friend who was molested at ten was blamed by her mother. The Code is known between these women. 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