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I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
Brené Brown: Hi everyone, I’m Brené Brown, and this is Unlocking Us. Oh, I have such a special conversation for y’all today. I am talking to my friend, thought leader, culture shifter, change-maker, Austin Channing Brown. She is a leading voice on racial justice and her book, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, has been transformative for me. We’ll talk about this in the conversation, but I often say that I evaluate a book by how many times I threw it across the room while I’m reading it, and this book, let me tell you, has some flight hours under it. God, it’s so beautiful. And clearly, I am not the only one who has found the book transformative. Reese Witherspoon, who has an incredible Hello Sunshine Book Club, just announced that I’m Still Here is one of two books that she’s picked for her June 2020 book club read. Austin is also the co-creator and executive producer of a video web series, like a TV series on the web, called The Next Question, which I’ve had a chance to be a guest on, and it’s… What a conversation.
BB: Laughed, sobbed, just incredible conversation. It’s really, the series is hosted by Austin and also co-host Jenny Booth Potter and Chi Chi Okwu. And it’s a very different kind of conversation. It’s about the expansiveness of racial justice. What does anti-racism really look like? I highly recommend it. And last, but certainly not least, this is really exciting. Today is June 10th, this is the day this podcast is dropping, and Austin and I are partnered in a movement called “Share the Mic” where white women with big social media platforms amplify the voices of black women anti-racism activists. And so today, June 10th, 2020, in case you’re listening, you can go back and find it, Austin will be on my social media and sharing her thoughts, sharing ideas, and then this evening we’ll do an Instagram Live on her Instagram, which is @austinchanning. I just want you to get on my Instagram, which is @brenebrown today, June 10th, I want you to get on Austin’s today and always follow her @austinchanning and then join us for the Instagram Live tonight. Last, just to let you know this bit about Austin, which I think is important because you’ll see that not only will she share her massive knowledge with us, you’ll get to know her as a person, which is a real privilege. Trust me. She name of bank chase in Metro Detroit with her husband, her son, and what she would describe as a very spoiled puppy. Okay, let’s get into the conversation with Austin.
BB: Austin Channing Brown, how are you?
Austin Channing Brown: It’s but i m still here gospel song weird week.
BB: It’s a weird week, but I want to… I was starting with that question. Really truly, I want to dig into how you are. I was starting with that question around when COVID first started.
BB: And now it just has… The answers are further and further away from fine.
AB: I feel everything right now. I feel really, really sad, I feel overwhelmed, I feel betrayed, but I also feel inspired by the protesters. I feel encouraged by how many people are seeking police reform and even police abolition in some cases. I feel like… It feels like one hot, beautiful, ugly mess. [chuckle] And I feel all of that inside my body right now.
BB: How are you taking care of your body, and your mind, and your spirit right now?
AB: Not doing a great job, and I think that’s because my body is constantly fluctuating. So at the beginning of all of this, I was eating pretty regularly. And the worst things got the harder it became to eat. And sometimes, that’s because of posting in the news and getting lost in social media. But really, Brené, I’ve realized that I don’t have the same appetite. I don’t want to eat. And I feel nauseous a lot, a lot. So it’s been hard. The self-care has been hard when your body isn’t telling you what it usually tells you.
BB: I don’t even know how long ago this… I think it may have been the first therapist I ever saw, so I must have maybe been 20. And I remember her telling me… I was going through a really hard time, and my family was falling apart, and it was just one thing after the next. And I said, “Sometimes I go a week and I just… All I can do is eat. And then other times I can’t even swallow because I feel so nauseous.” [chuckle] If you all can see Austin right now, she is shaking her head yes.
AB: All of that, right? It is… The self-care is really, really hard. So I think just… I’m just trying to be gentle with myself and… The one [chuckle]… I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but it’s the truth, and so, the one thing that I’m doing very regular, very regularly is giving myself a little face mask.
BB: Oh my God, I love it.
AB: I bust out my little jade roller, I stick that baby in the fridge, so that she’s nice and cold. [chuckle] I roll that jade over my face. I have 11 steps. I mean, I am in it, Brené. I’m in it.
AB: When this is all over everything else might be a mess, but my skin will be happy Brené.
BB: It’s going to be glowing.
AB: Yes, I will be moisturized when this is gone.
BB: But you know what, that sense of touch…
BB: And that sense of pleasure and that sense of self-love that goes with that touching and I have one of those rollers too and I’m just like come to mama just yeah, just take it all away.
AB: Yes, yes, yes and I but i m still here gospel song that because I’m doing this skincare I’m actually looking at myself in the mirror, I’m looking into my own eyes, I am breathing in the scent of all these products, it really is 10 minutes of pure pleasure and it’s the only thing my body is telling me explicitly saying, do this, do this, I don’t care what time it is, I don’t care if it’s after midnight, I don’t care if the baby is not down yet, I don’t care what’s happening on the news, do this for me and so that is my one little action of self-care that I do almost every night.
BB: I love that, and I love looking into your own eyes. Yeah, I was going to say about the therapist that I thought was interesting, just… I don’t know if this is helpful or not, but it’s been helpful for me for the last 30 years since I heard it. She said often when we’re depressed, we crave and we eat, but when we can’t swallow and we are nauseous and we have no appetite is often a sign of despair, and despair sometimes makes eating and almost just even the act of swallowing hard.
AB: Wow, that resonates so deeply, the despair. That resonates so deeply and the reason it resonates so deeply, Brené, is because I don’t… This is so hard to explain Brené. I know despair is there; because I’m working through the crisis, I don’t feel it.
BB: That’s right, that makes sense.
AB: I feel numb to the despair, right?
BB: Yes, yes.
AB: I am thinking about the next thing, I am thinking about what homework I’m going to give people, I am thinking about how to steward this community through this moment, I’m thinking about what I’ve already written, I’m thinking about how to move us toward black freedom, and so I don’t feel much of anything except nauseous. That makes so much sense to me.
BB: Yeah, it makes so much sense to me. I don’t know, I remember hearing Rob Bell reading something that he wrote that he defined despair as “the fear that tomorrow will be just like today.”
AB: Ohhhh, mm-hmm.
BB: Yeah, and I don’t know, I wonder… I’m thinking just about neurobiology right now as we’re having this conversation, I wonder if you can both… I don’t think it’s humanly possible, I think I’ve seen the data on this actually, to both teach and facilitate and walk us through for change and action around black dignity and let yourself feel the despair that nothing will ever change. Yeah, I just don’t know that we’re built to do both of those things, I don’t think we are actually built to do both of those things at one time.
AB: That feels accurate in my gut. So for example, I have not been able to watch the video of George Floyd’s death, I cannot do it. On the couple of occasions it has come on the television I have either had to turn away or have just turned the TV off all together, I am very aware that my emotional capacity can only handle so much and yet, there haven’t been any tears, I haven’t collapsed on the floor, I haven’t… There hasn’t been any of that but I think you’re right, that the despair is showing up in a way that I can handle and in some ways it’s enabling me to not practice self-care, because if I don’t have to stop to eat because I’m generally not hungry, then I can teach for four, five, six, seven hours a day.
BB: Yeah, I just… For those of you all listening I know it’s probably clear that we’re friends and we’re not just meeting on this podcast. I guess what I feel right now is that God, I just… My prayer for you and my. is that I just want you so desperately to take care of all of you because I love you but we also just… We need you and I wonder sometimes I’m thinking right now, especially with the first bank customer service phone number of calling in the military on the American citizenry I just wonder exhaustion and wearing people out is such a tool of oppression as well.
AB: Oh, absolutely. We saw it first in Ferguson, those were the most recent reiteration of this and I remember being tired for the protesters because they just kept going night, after night, after night, but i m still here gospel song night, and now that people are battling health concerns and battling unemployment, battling family dynamics all being cooped up in the house together – people have to be exhausted, everybody is exhausted.
BB: Yeah, everybody is exhausted, everybody… It’s funny too because I think a lot of white folks are feeling a weariness that has been a part of the DNA of black experience since the beginning of the time in this country.
AB: And that’s part of it, right Brené? Is that we’re not new to this.
BB: Right, right. Yeah.
AB: Our exhaustion isn’t the last week.
AB: Our exhaustion is since but i m still here gospel song were born. [chuckle] Our exhaustion is… Our exhaustion is our parents’ memories and our grandparents’ memories. This exhaustion is long. It’s long.
BB: Yeah, it’s bone exhaustion… It’s just, yeah, it’s DNA exhaustion.
BB: It’s… You’re born into a history of weariness, I guess. We know oppression weariness it’s…
BB: Yeah, it’s real. For those of you who don’t know, Austin has a book called, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. Now, the way I first described… I don’t remember if we talked about this on your TV show or we talked about this another time, but whenever a book… Whenever I have a book that really changes me but kicks my ass first, I always say that book has wings, because I throw… I usually actually throw the book.
BB: And I do, like I’ll just be… I’ll be lying in bed reading and I’ll be like, “Oh, no bullshit,” and I just throw the book and it… And the corners of your book are dinged up. Your book has wings.
AB: I love that. I actually ask people, particularly white people, black women do not want to throw it, but I always ask white people did you throw it after they read it because I expect that though.
BB: Do you really?
AB: Oh, yeah.
AB: And I’m disappointed when they say, no.
BB: Jesus, I’m part of a gang of middle-aged white woman book throwers. Holy shit, deliver me now. Yeah, it’s… The book is so honest and unflinching.
AB: Yes, purposefully.
BB: And as a person of faith.
BB: I read things that I knew were true and gave me words for confusion about why, in these moments, I don’t understand why this is not the sermon every Sunday.
AB: I lived it first, Brené. I lived it first.
BB: Say more.
AB: So I feel like I’ve kind of lived dual lives in terms of faith. My faith was born in a black church. But growing up, I also was constantly surrounded by white evangelicalism. So I attended a private Christian school from the time I was in preschool, all the way through college. So I’ve been around whiteness a long time. And in all kinds of different denominations, let me tell you, Brené. I’ve seen them all. I learned the hard way. I learned the hard way that there is a deep difference between the Jesus that black folks worship and the Jesus that white Christians worship.
BB: Tell me the difference.
AB: The Jesus that black folks worship doesn’t ask questions like, “But does the gospel really have anything to do with race and justice?” Black Jesus doesn’t hesitate to say, “Black Lives Matter.” Black Jesus stands for the oppressed, cares about those who are most marginalized, and not just cares, Brené. Sits with, lives with.
BB: Fights for.
AB: Fights for, is angered by the mistreatment.
AB: Protests with.
AB: While white Jesus is primarily interested in self. In self, and money and capitalism and in self, and how much can I get? How much power can I hoard? It’s all about self. And it’s all about the preservation of self. Of ego. Mostly power.
BB: Mostly power.
AB: Mostly power, a deep desire to wield power over… Power over others.
BB: Right. Yeah, it’s interesting because I think of Jesus, I think of power too, but I think of power with and power from and power shared and power within.
AB: There you go.
BB: I don’t think of power over.
AB: Power over is white Jesus.
AB: Power over is a Christianity that would say, “Slavery is the way God intended things to be.”
BB: Well, it did say that, right?
AB: Exactly, right?
BB: And it continues to in some corners.
AB: Absolutely, absolutely.
BB: Do you think also there is… I’m going to use, I hope I’m allowed to worship the black Jesus because that would be my Jesus too.
AB: I wish the whole world would.
BB: Yeah, because I think as you came up in that environment, I came up in a very liberation theology, Jesuit, no playing, not just witness, but fight, like that protest. That was… I remember growing up in New Orleans where the Jesuits supported the Black Panthers, where they were… It was just a very different… But that’s different than a conservative white evangelical thinking.
AB: Yeah, my experience as a black woman who has grown up particularly in the era post the Civil Rights movement and post perceived integration.
AB: Right? My experience is that white folks want just a pinch of blackness, just a splash, a smattering, a little toss of confetti of blackness in order to affirm itself. In order to affirm its own goodness, in order to affirm its rightness, in order to get rid of any feelings of guilt, in order to keep itself comfortable. So that it can continue to practice power over.
BB: Yeah. And justify it.
AB: It just wants to feel good about it. [laughter]
BB: Feel good about itself, yeah. I’m asking Austin just, if you’ll be generous with us, and that’s a big thing to ask right now, if you will read these two paragraphs from, I’m Still Here’that I think need to be tattooed on the world.
AB: I’m happy to, this is from the chapter, “Nice White People.” “When you believe niceness disproves the presence of racism, it’s easy to start believing bigotry is rare, and that the label racist should be applied only to mean spirited intentional acts of discrimination. The problem with this framework, besides being a gross misunderstanding of how racism operates in systems and structures enabled by nice people, is that it obligates me to be nice in return rather than truthful. I am expected to come closer to the racists, be nicer to them, coddle them. Even more, if most white people are good, innocent, lovely folks who are just angry or scared or ignorant, it naturally follows that whenever racial tension arises, I must be the problem.
AB: I’m not kind enough, patient enough, warm enough, I don’t have enough understanding for the white heart, white feelings, white needs; it does not matter that I don’t always feel like teaching white people through my pain, through the disappointment of allies who gave up and co-laborers who left. It does not matter that the well-intentioned questions hurt my feelings or that the decisions made in all white meetings affect me differently than they do everyone else. If my feelings do not fit the narrative of white innocence and goodness, the burden of change gets placed on me.
AB: When this narrative of goodness is disrupted by the unplanned utterance of racial slurs, jokes, rants or their kind, whiteness has perfected another tool for defending its innocence. I call it the relational defense; it happens in media all the time. A government official, teacher, pastor or principal is caught on tape saying something that is clearly racist, but rather than confess and seek transformation, the person defends their goodness by appealing to the relationships of those who “know” them. “I’m not racist, just ask blank, she knows me.” My family and friends know my heart, they will tell you I couldn’t be racist. I have a black spouse, child, friend, I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”
BB: God. Let’s talk white supremacy and niceness. It’s so about cognitive dissonance for but i m still here gospel song. Do you know the tension of these two things that… Let’s just take all the bullshit out and let me just say, for me, when I do something that makes clear my unacknowledged, unowned privilege, I feel two things at one time: One is shame, and one is, “But I am a good person. I am a good person.” But you know what’s true? I am a good person, and I have a lot of privilege, and a lot of support for structural racism that I don’t even know exists inside me. Those two things are true.
AB: You know what’s also true Brené? You may be a good person, but you can be a better one.
BB: Oh my God, I can be a better person and… [laughter] And… Yeah, no. And if I am a decent human being and I believe that about myself, and, I get called out on something I’ve done that’s sexist, racist, homophobic, heterosexist, xenophobic, whatever, I get called out on, do you know what University of texas at austin total enrollment do in those moments? Because you know I have those moments in public all the time, like, [laughter] on film, because I walk into those conversations and I just have them. And you know what my mantra is? I have a secret mantra.
AB: Please tell.
BB: I’m here to get it right, not be right. I’m here to get it right, not be right. I’m here to get it right, not be right. And so, if I have to get it right, I have to listen and learn. If I have to be right, I have to use my niceness and my decency to defend my behavior.
AB: I tell people all the time that the work of anti-racism is the work of becoming a better human to other humans.
BB: Oh my God, can you say that again and slow for everybody?
AB: The work of anti-racism is becoming a better human to other humans, that’s what we’re doing. That’s what the work of anti-racism is.
BB: That is the work.
AB: We’re becoming better humans so that we treat other humans better, [laughter] that’s what we’re doing here. So being called out, even though it feels terrible, it feels terrible Brené, nobody would argue that this is like a feel good… That it’s a feel-good moment.
AB: Right? But we’re also not interested in trying to hurt your feelings, we’re not interested in trying to manipulate you, we’re not interested in all the things that anti-racism educators get accused of. We are saying, “I think you have capacity to be a better human, would you? Would you accept that invitation?” And I can’t tell you how often the response is, “but I would rather just be nice and polite, if that’s okay.” [laughter]
BB: Yeah, no, I got to tell you…
AB: That was the response.
BB: I’ve got to tell you, nice and polite is a scourge. It is… And I’ll tell you… I’ll tell you where I’ve seen it. We’ve got a… I’m not going to lie, we’ve got a shit ton of it in Texas.
BB: But the South.
BB: You know the nice and polite culture of the South…
AB: Oh, you’ve got it down.
BB: Yeah, it’s just… And that’s why when I go back to this cognitive dissonance. So we know cognitive dissonance, when you have to hold the tension of two competing ideas, is one of the most physiologically and emotionally uncomfortable feelings. Our body is wired to jump out of it as fast as we can like, “Oh, my God, these conflicting messages right now, I have done or said something that’s dehumanizing or racist or it supports a system that dehumanizes others. I am a good person; I am trying my best.” If we could just jump out of that to, “I am a good person, so I’m going to be quiet and learn and apologize and make amends and take action.”
AB: There you go.
BB: Instead of… There are two lanes, and I’ve not thought through this, I want to think through it with you. It seems like there are two tap-out buttons when we’re in the discomfort, right? There is the relation… What do you call it? The relational…
AB: Relational defense.
BB: Relational defense.
BB: Look, I’m friends with Austin Channing Brown like…
AB: She, call her. She would say, “I am not racist.”
BB: She would say… Yeah. No, yeah, it is the relational defense. So that’s one tap-out button, there’s several top-out buttons, but they’re divided, I think, into two sides. The next tap-out button is, “I am a good, loving person, look at the money I give to charity, look at the work that I do, I’m a good person; something’s wrong with you,”
BB: The other tap-out button, which people don’t understand is also, delivers us from this thing is, “I am sorry. I am wrong. I will work every day to be better. I will learn from you, but I will value the labor and the work you’re doing to teach me, soulfully, monetarily, your time… ” That is also… And that’s a tap-out button, that is not a deep tunnel to nowhere. That’s a tap-out button that makes us, in your words, better humans. That makes me a better mom, a partner, a better person of faith.
AB: It makes you more human. It makes you more human because the truth is, is that we all mess up, Brené, we all mess up. I’m a black woman and I get disability stuff wrong. I’m cis and I get queer stuff wrong. We all get shit wrong [chuckle].
BB: We all get shit wrong.
AB: We all get shit wrong.
BB: Takeaway number one from the podcast today.
AB: We all get shit wrong. The question is, have you built the capacity to care more about others than you care about your own ego? Will you choose…
BB: Oh, my God, that’s the question.
AB: Right? Will you choose to protect someone else over protecting your own ego?
BB: And the worst thing is the ego begs for our protection but is not our friend.
AB: It’s not our friend. It makes us worse humans [laughter]
BB: It makes us worse humans, but it tells us, “Protect me, or you will know pain like you have never known.” But it’s a liar.
AB: But i m still here gospel song. Well, sort of, right? So, to protect someone else is to invite pain.
BB: But do you think that… See, for me, that pain is an opening.
BB: That pain is an expansive pain where I, an intimacy, a connected pain.
BB: As opposed…
AB: Well, that’s why I say it makes us more human, right? Like it is…
BB: Yeah, okay, I get it, yeah.
AB: And that’s part of what white supremacy is stealing. Part of what white supremacy is stealing is your ability to see, to feel, to hear, to hold in high esteem other people. There are no roadblocks to two of those buttons that we tap. The relational defense, white people can go there immediately.
AB: Right? The “I’m a really good person and I can’t believe you’re attacking me like this.” You can go there immediately. There is a hurdle that you have to overcome in order to access the desire to protect someone else over yourself, and that hurdle is white supremacy. Because white supremacy doesn’t value the other life as much as you value your own. That’s the core of white supremacy, right? “I am white and therefore I am better, I am right, I am holy, I am good, I am innocent, I am… ” Right? “And you are inferior…” That is how we built white supremacy. “I am better, I am superior, you are inferior.” But in order to access this desire to protect black lives, the desire to be taught by black lives, the desire to sit at the feet of black people, the desire to pay black people for their labor, the desire to make sure that America actually lives up to its own creeds, you’ve got to first get over the hurdle, which is destroying the idea that we are not equal. And I know innocent, good, well-intentioned white people do not want to believe for one second, Brené, that they don’t consider themselves equal to another human being.
AB: But the truth is, if in your life, you can be called out by your white friends or your white co-workers or your white supervisor, if they can say to you, “Hey, you know what, that was really good, that presentation you gave was really good, but I just want you to tweak this one thing.” If the white people in your life can say you’re not perfect and you don’t lash out at them, but the black people in your life would suggest [chuckle] that you could do something better, and all of a sudden you want to rip their heads off, you’re not but i m still here gospel song equality yet. You’re not at equality yet, and it’s because you’ve got to get over white supremacy. You’ve got to dig deep and really believe. Not pnc prepaid debit card reviews in your head. Not like my parents told me that all people are equal when I was a kid, but you got to really dig deep and decide that against your initial inclination, [chuckle] I am going to decide right now in this moment of having been called out, that I am not superior. My ego is not superior. What I want is not superior. What I need is not superior. In this moment, I am going to decide that the face in front of me has something, knows something, can share something that I am desperately in need of because I am not superior.
BB: It’s just truth. They’re just, I mean… Thank you for listening to the podcast.
BB: I mean, this just… I mean, it’s just… I just… That’s truth and… Can I ask a bunch of questions?
BB: Okay, so you said, “Two easy tap out buttons, relational defense, I’m a good person defense.”
BB: But the huge barrier to the setting my ego aside is white supremacy, and white supremacy is a complex, I mean, a complex…
BB: It’s like asking to me, explaining white supremacy is like asking a fish to describe water.
AB: That’s right, that’s right.
BB: What role does proximity play in being able to say, I… In dismantling white supremacy… What role does it play, or does it play a role in your mind?
AB: It can. It can play a role.
BB: If you had to define proximity, how do you define proximity?
AB: You know what? I think that… Here’s what I think people hear.
AB: When we talk about proximity is, do you have a black friend?
BB: Oh, you think that’s what white people hear?
AB: Oh yeah, I think that’s what white people hear. I think white people hear, “is there a person of color in your life that you are literally proximate to?”
AB: That is in your group that you’re having coffee with or that you’re… Right? And that understanding of proximity is dangerous.
AB: It’s dangerous for black people. [chuckle] It’s dangerous for people of color. And it places… It warps the relationship; it puts the burden of teaching on black people. It can become manipulative. It makes the person of color responsible for changing your heart and mind.
AB: You know?
BB: But you think that’s what people think of when they hear the word proximity? Even like, I have a black partner, or I have…
AB: I do. I do.
AB: And again, I want to keep in mind that most of my experience is in faith-based organizations. And so often, after we finished the MLK day service, what is said is, “Can you reach out, and can you reach across the aisle, or can you invite somebody that you haven’t met before to a coffee?” Or whatever, right? So maybe it isn’t that word. Right? Maybe it’s just too often the example that we use.
BB: That’s helpful. That’s… Yes, that’s helpful.
AB: You know?
BB: That makes sense to me. So, what is proximity? How would you define it in real anti-racism dismantling terms?
BB: Or would you?
AB: I’m not convinced it’s necessary. And there’s a lot…
BB: Say more.
AB: First of all, I just want to announce there’s a lot of anti-racism educators that would deeply disagree with me. I’m not convinced that’s it’s necessary, Brené. I think that white people are not children. I think grown white people are adults who can think critically on their own. Who can read books, and listen to podcasts, and study history, and be self-reflective, and get a therapist, and look at the world, and say, “Something’s not right here, let me change the way I vote.” Right?
AB: “Something’s not right here, let me give to an organization that I have researched who is trying to change this. Something’s not right here, let me go [chuckle] do.” I think in that process, when learning, when curiosity has come first, you find yourself in proximate relationships that do not benefit you. And I think maybe that’s the core of this proximate thing, right? Is that, white people hear that and think, “Great, let me go find a relationship that benefits me.”
BB: To prove my relational hypothesis.
AB: Right. Or to prove that I’m nice and that, at least one black person really likes me. I think there’s something but i m still here gospel song from our proximate conversation, our national proximate conversation. That is not discussing what the power dynamics are in that proximity.
BB: Yeah, and, God to me, I’m almost going back to like my undergrad sociological theory classes on Exchange Theory. Like, I can see the using, the manipulating, I also see right now on social… And it’s probably the relational defense, I also see a running toward highlighting friends of color.
BB: And how that…
AB: It’s still for self, Brené. It’s still for evil.
BB: It’s still for self, that’s it, that’s it, that’s where I was trying to get to, it’s still doesn’t seem other-focused to me.
AB: That’s right. That’s right. And that does not serve the cause of justice, freedom and dignity of others. So, in that proximate relationship… So, my but i m still here gospel song would be for all white listeners is, in that proximate relationship, what are you giving?
BB: Hard stop.
AB: What are you…
BB: Yes, what are you giving period? Question, yeah.
AB: Yeah. Yeah. And there are… Actually, you know what, that’s not true Brené. I was about to say that there are white people in my life and we’re just friends and that’s it, but it’s not true. Every white friend that I have, and y’all can imagine that list is real small, but they do exist. I have a white friend, Brené. No, I’m kidding. [chuckle]
Still Here lyrics
Heartaches, I've had my shares of heartaches, but I'm still here
Trouble, I've seen my share of troubles, but I'm still here
Bruises, I've taken my lumps & bruises, but I'm still here
Loneliness, I've had my share of loneliness, but I'm still here
Through it all I've made it through another day's journey, God kept me here
I've made it through another days journey, God kept me here
Lied on, many times I've been lied on, but I'm still here
Burdens, I had to bare so many burdens, but I'm still here
Dark days, I've had my share of dark days, but I'm still here
Disappointments, I've had so many disappointments, but I'm still here
It's by the grace of God, that I'm still here today
He was always there, no matter what came my way
I felt the presence of him, in my time of need
Standing right there, just to see about me
I made it (I made it)
I made it (yes, I made it)
I'm still here (I'm still here)
A lot of folks say that I wouldn't be here tonight, but I made it (I made it)
By the grace of Godyall (yes, I made it)
I'm still here (I'm still here)
I have to lay awake in the midnight hour sometimes, tossing & turning (I made it)
All night long (yes, I made)
Have anyone had to lay awake all night long sometime (I'm still here)
Tears in your eyes wandering what the next day was gonna bring (I made it)
God kept has arms around you, yes he did (yes, I made it)
You made through the trails (I'm still here)
Come on let me see those hands in the air
I made it, I made it (I made it)
I made it, I made it (yes, I made it)
I made it, I made it (I'm still here)
Through it all (through it all? I'm still hereeee
Submitted by Guest
I’m But i m still here gospel song Here
Good times and bum times, I've seen them all
And my dear, I'm still here
Plush velvet sometimes
Sometimes just pretzels and beer, but I'm here
Oh, I've stuffed the dailies in my shoes
Strummed ukuleles, sung the blues
Seen all my dreams disappear, but I'm here.
I've slept in shanties, guest of the W.P.A., but I'm here
I danced in my scanties
Three bucks a night was the pay, but I'm here
Oh, I've stood on bread lines with the best
Watched while the headlines did the rest
In the depression was I depressed?
Nowhere near, I met a big financier and I'm here
I've gotten through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover
Gee, that was fun and a half
When you've been through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover
Anything else is a laugh
Oh, I've been through Reno, I've been through Beverly Hills, and I'm here.
Reefers and vino, rest cures, religion and pills, but I'm here
I've been called a 'Pinko', commie tool, got through it stinko by my pool
I should've gone to an acting school, that seems clear
Oh, still someone said, "She's sincere", so I'm here
Black sable one day, next day it goes into hock, but I'm here
Top billing Monday, Tuesday, you're touring in stock, but I'm here
First, you're another sloe-eyed vamp
Then someone's mother, then you're camp
And then you career from career.hey, to career
I'm almost through my memoirs, and I'm here
I've gotten through, "Hey, lady, aren't you whoozis?
Wow, what a looker you were"
Or better yet, "Sorry, I thought you were whoozis
Whatever happened to her?"
Good times and bum times, I've seen 'em all
And I'm still here
Plush velvet sometimes
Sometimes just pretzels and beer, but I'm here
I've run the gamut, A to Z
Three cheers and dammit, C'est la vie
I got through all of last year, and I'm here
Lord knows, at least I've been there, and I'm here
Look who's here, I'm still here
Kurt Hummel is here
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I'm Still Here Lyrics
By Smokie Norful
I'm still here
I'm still here
By the grace, I'm still here
I'm here by the grace of God
Now I couldn't see my way
Darkness had become my day
So much pressure in my life
I thought I was gonna loose my mind
But God's grace and His mercy
They covered me
And I'm still here
Yes I am
By the grace
By the grace of God
Comon' and testify say
I'm still here
I'm still here (Holding on to my faith, I'm still here)
I'm still here (By. the grace oh oh oh)
By the grace, I'm still here (I'm right here by the grace)
I'm here by the grace of God
I've been through toils and snares
I've heard some trouble days
There's even been times in my live
When I almost went astray
But God brought me from the hand of my enemy
And I'm standing here as a testimony
Of the grace of God
I declare it that I'm still here
I'm still here (Comon' and make the devil mad, and just say I'm still here)
I'm still here (They said you wouldn't be here right now but look at you Oh oh.)
By the grace, I'm still here (I'm here by the grace)
I'm here by the grace of God [3x]
I'm still here, By the grace. [2x]
I'm still here (As desired)
I'm here by the grace of God [3x]