The ongoing struggle for racial equality in the US has stirred up still tender wounds for Jamaican singer Dalton Harris, and how he’s learned to never doubt his desire to be treated as an equal.
Harris, in a message to his fans on social media on Thursday (June 11), said for many years he placed an unrealistic expectation on how he was perceived by others—and the words cut deeper than they sometimes should.
“Realizing that most of the issues I have with myself is because of a [expletive deleted] expectation I places on myself that I allowed other horrible things, people and entities to teach me of what I should or shouldn’t be, look like or speak like. I was either black, ugly, poor, unwanted, gay, alone, less valuable or not FROM HERE. A ‘sell out of a black man’, ungrateful, selfish, country, angry, too smart for my own good, not smart enough,” he began.
The Cry songwriter said after many rounds of healing and therapy, he finally understood that at the end of the day, he shouldn’t have to validate himself in anyone’s eyes.
“All things I allowed to hurt me whenever someone would say em. I wrote a song about it and then went to rehab to deal with all my trauma, but even though I finished rehab stronger and healed of a lot of trauma, it was all this quarantine that really forced me to accept and understand and see and allow myself to not want to ever have to prove my right to equality and life or deserving acceptance,” Dalton continued.
The message he shared with his fans: there is goodness and beauty within all of us, regardless of sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing or skin tone.
“Never let anyone allow you to feel that way. You are more than enough. And are just as valuable as the next good person,” he assured.
Dalton said his journey in music is one of self-discovery and growth, and eventually wants to be considered one of the greatest vocalists of his generation. Period.
Being a victim of nearly all the instances of bigotry and hatred, Harris said the greatest lesson he’s learned from the scars is loving oneself is the first step to becoming whole.
“All lessons I have learnt mostly from being a victim of many of the aforementioned hatred and judgement. Do not expect what you cannot give. That is hypocritical and entitled. Learn to Love,” he said.
He ended the post with the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter, #LearnToLove and #DoNotExpectWhatYouCannotGive.