Torches, this is part one of two. The other part (BLACK. MEN. MAKE. HISTORY.) in June. “Black women take care of Black women.”– Ashley Yates, writer In the land where … Continue reading BLACK. WOMEN. MAKE. HISTORY.
When I was younger, my Mom always told me never go anywhere alone: there’s strength in numbers. I knew better than to leave my drink alone at a party–years before … Continue reading Black History Needs Black Women. Protect Them. Protect Us.
“If the black woman wasn’t made, she would have to be invented.”
Black women are saged. There is no way around that or to explain it. There is an air to us that is no short than mystic, mythic and amazing. What we do, how we move, how we can be everything all at once keeps us formidable and the phenomenal women which Maya Angelou told us we were.
In this move towards the celebrating of women, especially during Women’s History Month, there can be no celebration of all women until all women are seen. Especially women of color! For the better part of the history of this nation, there have been women of color in the background, in the forefront, and on the sidelines of every major movement which has defined this nation. From Deborah Simpson in the Revolutionary War, to Harriet Tubman whom was a Union army spy and nurse (when she wasn’t being a superhero!), to Mary Cady Shadd whom helped Susan B. Anthony argue the cause for women’s sufferage, to Mary McCleod-Bethune whom founded what is now known as Bethune-Cookman College in Florida.
Black women, women of color, are no stranger to adversity and making a way out of it. We does these things, ma’am and sir. We are experts in making out of whole cloth, and making the cloth when none is available.
I honor the black women in life, sung and unsung. I honor the women in my life and line that loved, lived and imparted to the next woman whom would be a grandmother to my grandmother whose shoulders I stand. I honor them. I remember them. I write for them, and the ones to come behind me.
I am a black woman, beautiful and unapologetic. I am here to take over.
As a black woman, it is an act or rebellion and revolution to love yourself.
It took me so long to look in the mirror and like the brown skinned, button nosed, gap-toothed girl I saw there. There were days when I avoided mirrors because I couldn’t handle what I saw there.
The world outside my house, and sometimes in it, told me how I looked, my natural aesthetic was not enough, it was I wasn’t pretty, light or hair straight enough. Compile that with a white girl name? Nall, nothing about me was right.
I began to love myself thanks to the adamant belief my mother fed me that I was enough, I was pretty, I was a formidable girl and should not be treated as anything less.
With my mother being the fashionista she is, she subscribed to Essence Magazine until I was Junior in High School. Seeing women and girls that looked like me? Amazing.
With the European aesthetic dominant, and nappy hair being a sin with relaxers and pressing combs present (oh, Lord! Little black girls and their hair!), in my childhood and well into my adulthood, gradually, I began to love the girl looking back at me.
I believe that every black girl has that search at least once. Where the world you are told you are a part of, whose destiny you are assigned, looks you in your melanin and tells you that you’re ugly, you don’t match what they want and you cannot even be considered “pretty” because nothing dark or black be pretty.
It started with my eyes. I thought my eyes were pretty because they are my mothers. And I thought she was pretty. There were pretty black girls in Essence, Seventeen and Y &M magazine.
I looked at my skin tone and compared it to light chocolate or a mocha mix. My lips? Thick and even better when I smiled. From accepting the black about me would not change, my view of it had to change. The world didn’t like my black, but celebrated tanning.
It wasn’t my color that was the problem, it was the world that had the issue with my color. That problem I made my own–and that problem made me hate something I could not change.
For a little black girl to hear she is beautiful, just as she is, in all her raw natural sugar form, is revolutionary. For a little black girl to see she is beautiful is powerful.
Beyond the fetish for her skin and hair.
Beyond the curiosity of her shape.
For a little black girl to seeshe is is beautiful herself, is life changing. One of the keys to help that is representation and affirmation.
Self-love is a radical act in a world that constantly tells you to change, when even the changes are not sufficient!
For a pretty black girl to love herself? She changes the world.