Tag: black women

RUNITBACK FRIDAY- 1/26/18

#Monique #ThisAMess #WhatsNext #Netflix #Boycott #Purpose #PurposeOnPurpose #PUSH #UnderstandDynamics #DestinyInTheRoom #NameInTheRoom #Observations #Realizations #Business #Economics #DontMissThis #TheSetUp

This is my official position about the Monique situation.  There is a way you do business, and a way that you understand the opportunities presented to you. I was asked about this at work, and I said this, “God put her name in that room, and this is how she acted. You don’t know what God was going to do–had she used wisdom.” This is why I say this.

Monique was on a talk show with Russell Simmons around the same time she had her own show on BET. She said that in regards to being black and in entertainment she said she learned to ‘make opportunities’. No one said she had to take the money, no one said she was untalented or undeserving of literally ‘being in the room.’ This is my issue.

This is what agents are for. Had she played a little 3-D chess, she could have maximized her opportunity to make the most of what was presented to her. This nation constantly underpays, undercuts and devalues the talents of black women and women of color since–ever. From Ma Rainey, to Moms Mabley, to Bessie Coleman, to Oprah Winfrey, to my mother, and even myself. How we overcome this is to have people in our corner whom can fight for us, even when we aren’t in the room. Instead of maximizing what was presented to her, she lashed out.

Monique did what so many people when the are hurt do–look for someone that will and would listen to her. She went to Instgram wanting boycotts. She did the talk show circuit and said she was the most decorated living female comedienne. Monique went into recon “Imma get all these hoes” mode. Whenever  you get pulled off your square like this, God can’t move, the universe can’t be open to you because you are too busy trying to overwhelm to bash in, rather than create to be granted access.

I can understand Monique’s frustration. I am empathetic to feeling you need to defend, check, buss in, buss up and let every hater know. TRUST. I GET IT. However, one thing I have been graced to understand that the opportunity, even the smallest is maximized by finesse and wisdom. She has snapped off, and we as the Fam at large have heard her, but now what to do, bae?

I support Monique, and I need her to #LevelUp. Like for the culture, for herself and those that follow, #LevelUp. It’s time. It’s time.

#JemelleHill #ESPN #AprilDRyan #BigSisterJemelle #ThisSo meOle #TheSix #Solidarity #Family #AuntieApril #WhoThisWomanHarpo #TryingToBeGreat #HowLong #IRideForThemDoe  #GetEmSis

Folk can’t stand to see black women being great and leveling up (yes, #LevelUp is now an official hashtag of TIFS–Fight me.). Sometimes the biggest stumbling block to you leveling up as a black woman is another black woman. This is non debatable fact–I have lived this. Often. This is why I do my best to not let another black woman who is my life, my sphere of influence to never feel less than. She is not my enemy nor my competition.

I am She. She are we.

We are they.

These are not greater than those whom are for me–or her.

Now, that said–the awesome news this week is Jemelle Hill is leaving TheSix on ESPN (the 6pm SportCenter with Michael Smith) and is going to the show The Undefeated.  This show fuses race, sports and culture. I think this is awesome for her and I’m excited to see her blossom–and flex–and be brilliant! #GetEmSis

For all this dopeassness this week, there was a tweet towards April D. Ryan, journalist whom is indeed a superhero, by this legendary bedwench of the Trump suppository whom now has a cushy job in the Department of Health and Human Services when she used to be a wedding planner–I will not mention her name here. Y’all goggle it. This same woman called April Ryan, “Miss Piggy.” And when this wench got clocked by Ana Navarro, then she wanted to apologize and delete the tweet. April Ryan, in her clapback akin to thunder, gathered her like kids under streetlights, telling her how wrong this was of her to do and was like ‘this is not over.’

Pause.

I know in the first portion of this blog, I said I do not make habit or room to come for black women–they are not my competition. However, in love, I will gather a sis when necessary. This trollop has forgotten how expendable her boss sees black women, and chose the wrong one to come for in April Ryan. See? What she forgot is, how they came for Omorosa, they will come for her! Rather than accept and see what is, she feels like her boss’s incompetence is her cloak of invisibility. She is legit maximizing her coonery through the vessel of white privilege–who has time for that?!

There is a madness afoot, y’all. Friends don’t let friends come Stacey Dashes or Omorosas or this trollop whom will not be named. You can’t tell a broad to level up whom thinks the bottom is all she needs.

Our Sister Erica

At 27, Erica Garner is now an ancestor.

In hearing of her passing this morning, I thought of my life at 27 and then her mother, Esaw. I am in an active state of heartbreak. There was a tweet through my Twitter timeline when she had her asthma attack and subsequent heart attack earlier this week which mentioned the craziness you have to go through in order to prove you are human.

I, like Erica, am a part of the fatherless tribe. Only difference is Erica’s father was stolen from her by the worst of the NYPD and the world saw it all happen. The world watched her mourn, her mother all but shatter and her family be subject of the 3/5 human theory in regards to the life of her father.

People often fumble with that to say when people die, master at feigning ignorance of what to say, where to be and being intentional in times of grief after saying if you need anything, let me know.

There is something that is needed and can no longer wait. Coretta Scott King said this in from a place of wisdom and experience:

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.

The thing that people forget to tell you is that struggle is not sexy no matter what people tell you or what you see on social media. Struggle costs something, it will take something and always require more than you may willing to pay. Worst part? There are even fewer who will understand or help you.

Erica was a daughter, a mother, sister, friend, and activist. She was entitled to all her years with her children, her mother and all those that loved her. She traded peace for progress. She tried to help is all to speak louder when it was so hard for us all to breathe after the murder of her father.

Erica put a portion of this thing called movement and struggle on herself and her children and other people’s children she won’t see.

Don’t let her age fool you. Lionesses wield power and presence before 40.

I celebrate Erica today, pray for her family and make a resolve to demand all my freedom, too, for the children I won’t see and because I still can’t breathe.

Rest Erica, we gon keep going.

RUNITBACK FRIDAY-12/22/17

Holiday is in three days! Get these hams, turkeys and yams!

Or beans, greens, potatoes and tomatoes! YOU NAME IT!

#LaVarBall #NCAA #NCAAAthletes #NCAABasketball #HoopDreams

We know the NCAA is a hustle. We all know that. We see the popularity of certain universities to the point cult worship. For starters, Duke, Louisiana State University, University of Missouri-Columbia (affectionally known as Mizzou), University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Georgetown University.

Universities have been making crazy stupid money with athletic programs. That includes apparel sold and television network broadcasts. The argument of playing NCAA athletes is not new. However, the JBA is. Allow Mr. LaVar Ball (yes, that LaVar Ball) to explain via Shaun King from The Intercept:

On Tuesday, Ball announced his intentions to start the Junior Basketball Association or JBA. A league with 10 teams of eight young players each, salaries for each player would range from $3,000 to $10,000 per month. It’s a brilliant gambit. High school basketball is already so popular that some high school stars, including Ball’s own children, have hundreds of thousands — and sometimes millions — of followers on social media. Highlight videos regularly have millions of views on YouTube, and bootleg livestreams of competitive games featuring emerging stars regularly go viral.

Because of an agreement between the NBA and the NCAA, high school athletes are no longer allowed to do what Kobe Bryant or LeBron James did and go pro straight out of high school. They must play a year of college or overseas basketball before they can be drafted. Only a tiny percentage of American high schoolers take the overseas route first. Instead, they are doing something that is now routinely called the “one and done.” This is when high school stars go to college where they attend for a year – playing basketball – then declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft.

It’s brilliant. Say what you want, it’s brilliant. Pay the athletes. The common argument is the players are students first and are athletes second.

I’m old enough to remember when Kobe got drafted, Kevin Garnett got drafted, hometown dude and SLU (St. Louis University) student, Larry Hughes. In The Saint Louis Post Dispatch there was reporting of the debate he had between going pro and finishing his degree at SLU. The crux? His mother was ill and he wanted take care of her.

College students are real people with real problems that require real money. If they can become self-sufficient and in charge of their own destinies, why not?

As a side note: Aight. 😒 don’t like him.

Y’all just made he’s black, loud and thought of in first. Gon’head, Mr. Ball. Make and sign the checks.

#Panthers #NFL #FireSale #SeanCombs #OwnersBox #Affiliated #7 #CarolinaPanthers #SitWithColin #StillWithColin #TeamBlackout #Diddy #DiddyDoesIt

So…more owners are getting caught doing what they believe other people can’t see them doing. This week it was Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson, has his hand slapped from the cookie jar to the point he has to sell his team!

Dig this from The Bleacher Report:<<
st-forward to now and the devastating report from Sports Illustrated that stated Richardson, on at least four occasions, reached significant monetary settlements for inappropriate workplace comments to female employees, and in at least one instance directed a racial slur to a black scout.

The NFL is investigating, and the Panthers have announced that Richardson will sell the team.

Men are who are used to buying everything, trying to buy everything.

< strong>I’m not surprised. At all.<

ut here comes brash Howard alum, Sean Combs. He and Colin Kaepernick are trying to recruit buyers for the Carolina Panthers.

Thing of what this would mean?! It would be reminiscent of the ABA! This needs to happen. The NFL/NBA boast of greater than 70% African-American athletes, but no owners to whom represent players. I’m praying this occurs, dear ones.

I really am.

Influence was the theme this month, but nothing influences like money, shug.

Nothing.

Pretty, Petty & Black (1808)

(1808-This is going to be NSFW. Fair warning.)

Brianna Brochu put a toothbrush in her ass and gave it back to her roommate.

Let that shit sink in. The reach of white supremacy and privilege is mind-boggling.

She smeared used tampons on her roommate’s bookbag, put old food in her toiletries, even going the extra step of being beyond trifling, and spit in her coconut oil.

Now, this silly white girl bragged about this mayhem on the ‘Gram and called her roommate Jamaican Barbie. This is sh she got caught. But she swears up and down she’s not a racist. So she just trifling and evil?! That makes this better.

She wasn’t charged with a hate crime, but with, lemme get it right, it reads in part from NBC News:

Civil rights advocates had asked the state to add a hate crime charge to the criminal mischief and breach of peace counts Brochu faces. NAACP Greater Hartford Branch President Imam Abdul-Shahid Muhammad Ansari attended the hearing and said that he, along with other NAACP members, are not pleased with the decision.

Allow me to translate:

“This is some absolute bullshit.”

This girl got expelled from University of Hartford, and assaulted her roommate but people want to shift this as “an ill-suited dorm assignment.” Nall. She clearly don’t need to be on anyone’s dorm–she ain’t been taught nothing!

There are RAs, and Housing Directors for “ill-suited dorm assignments.” She’s smart enough to get into college but can’t fill out a form to change her dorm assignment? And she says she’s not a racist…

Nall.

If you put my toothbrush in your ass, imma whup yours. Flat out.

The killer part? Peep what she called, Sis, doe! Jamaican Barbie. I don’t know what it is about white women whom see black women as pretty. Like you hate us…but wanna be us ala GET OUT?!

The reason why this angers me so is I’m a sister, a godmother, mother and a black woman all my life, with a black mother and father whom told me I was pretty–and never be ashamed of who I was.

This broad assaulted her black roommate, bragged about it in detail to the world, but doesn’t want to be seen or labeled a racist.

Tough.

She is.

The reason she gave as to why she did what she did was this (from the Hartford Courant):

Brochu, who is white, told police that she did not have a good relationship with her roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, who is black. Brochu claimed Rowe was rude to her and posted videos online of her snoring to make fun of her.

I’m not even amazed. But this being the Christmas season, the one piece of advice to give to the young woman this happened to, Chennel Rowe aka Jazzy, is this:

Shine.

Get this degree. Make your money. Make this system work for you. This trollop, this school may never apologize or recognize you for all that has happened to you. However, don’t let one silly (bleep) who couldn’t be you, or like you, stop you. This broad will ever be famous for what she did to you–but that won’t define you. You can be mad, embarrassed and ready to fight. You’re entitled. But also know what the real enemy is.

We got you.

RUNITBACK FRIDAY-12/8/17

img_0573-3

I hear sleigh bells ring-ting-tingling, too! Let’s get it!

#AnthonyLamarSmith #BlackLivesMatter #Coverup#CorruptPolice #ChangeTheSystem #Resist#FightBack

There are times where I can say with metered rage that I hate St. Louis. Courtesy of  The Riverfront Times, this week, it was revealed there was a coverup during the investigation of the  officer involved shooting involving police murderer of the moment, Jason Stockley. This is an exercpt from the article posted on December 5th:

The missing lab reports would have been crucial to the family’s position, Watkins argues. They show then-officer Stockley’s DNA was on a Taurus handgun recovered from Smith’s car. The now-former cop and his partner chased Smith at high speeds before they rammed his car and Stockley shot him five times.

The ex-cop claimed that Smith was reaching for the gun and that he shot him in self defense.

Yet an analysis done by a St. Louis police lab technician in February 2012 shows that not only was Stockley’s DNA found on a screw head on the gun, but that Smith’s DNA was not present.

I wish I could be shocked. I wish I could be surprised. I wish I could stop wishing. St. Louis recognizes three deities as Almighty:  Money, The Cardinals and the police. When confronted with facts that the police are corrupt, tactics are terror based and you demand your humanity, you’re accused of being anti-police. Indeed, I’m anti-police as they are in the current permutation.They are still an arm of the kinder, gentler Klan. This is why we resist. We know what a lie looks like and refuse to remain silent. He killed Anthony Lamar Smith because he could. Why? There’s a good ol’ boy as a prosecutor whom can’t indict ‘a ham sandwich,’ unless a black person has one. I knew it. I just knew it.

Sponsor a future black lawyer. They are needed. The mentor to Thurgood Marshall was helped by Mark Twain. The $900,000 settlement doesn’t replace Anthony to his family and to quote Sunni Patterson, in her poem We Know This Place, “Not always have we had amnesia.”

Re-damn-sist.

#WalterScott #IsItJustice #Resist #DismantleThePolice #Resist

Michael Slager killed Walter Scott on cell phone  video shot by a bystander. He shot him as he was running away. He then planted a weapon on him. All on video. December 7th he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. I have no joy about this. I want him to understand that black is not weapon, and forgiveness hasn’t reached my heart for this. I am angry. I am beyond frustrated. I wonder what is in white officers whom wield the badge, a car and service weapon to see color as a threat. I wonder if when these scary officers wash their faces and repeat “I feared for my life,” like I teach my children manners. I wonder if there are enough  good officers that notice enough to care. I wonder how many graves are watered with the tears of young widows and broken mothers.

Hope is not something black mothers or any other woman of color is allowed to give up. We fight to remain alive, strong and to hope. My hope was this man be locked up because black life is greater than any settlement, any endorsement deal, any jersey or television appearance or concert ticket.We matter.Our humanity is not a stunt from God.We matte and we will keep hoping. And like Nehemiah whom rebuilt the walls and gates of his place of his birth, we fight as we rebuild.

#AuntieApril #AprilRyan #AprilDRyan #BlackWoman #BlackWomenWork #ChristmasParty #WhiteHouseChristmasParty

I follow Ms. April D. Ryan on Twitter. I love her. I have watched how this ongoing grease fire in Hell’s back acre perpetuating as an administration has treated her, my auntie April. And Sarah Huckabee Sanders thinks she can just over look her, not answer her questions, or answer them halfway…

Yet, April Ryan is not shook or scared or tripping off this! I spoke about the power of influence and strength of presence, April has been a role model for me as a woman right now. She’s shown me to keep showing up, and keep it pushing in the face of people who want you to stop, give up or tone it down for comfort.

April D. Ryan is goals as I pursue this writing. I admire her tenacity, her boldness and her dogged nature—I love that about her. I love that she ain’t phased by bullshit and still pushes to get her job done, make her presence known–seeing her puts steel in my back.

The fact she got snubbed for a Christmas by this madness masquerading as government only lets me know she’s doing her job. In doing that job, she ain’t got to go where they don’t pay her. Or don’t want her.

Washington has enough token negroes. Aunt April is not one of them–besides, words are how we get off the plantation.

All The Black Women Named Charlotte

When I was growing up, I wondered by my grandmother had named my mother Bessie. There was no other woman I knew named, Bessie. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized that name was short for Elizabeth. The only other Elizabeth I knew not in a Sweet Valley High book, was Queen Elizabeth II. My mother said that was whom she was named after. She believes it, so why not let her have it?

However, with the women my mother’s age the names I heard often where Esther, Estella, Dorothy, Elizabeth and Charlotte.

Charlotte.

My adopted mother’s name is Charlotte.

I always thought the name sounded–hard. I think it was mean sounding because of the hard Ch that started that name. But there are few women I knew with that name who were mean.

It was this year that I found out why that name had the toughness that it did. It’s regal. Charlotte, Charlottesville,— the very name Charlotte–is after the British monarch Queen Sophia Charlotte, wife of King George III. And she was what was called a Moor, we would just call her black.

Yes, black.

With all I knew, I considered myself to be well read until now. I literally found this out as concrete fact over the weekend! I had heard the historic rumors of her existence, but didn’t want to get my hopes up with research. But indeed this was fact! She was beautiful, multilingual, an abolitionist–and she discovered Morzart! Moreover, she was one of his early sponsors!

As I sat listening to News One, I absorbed this information in smooth waves. I searched Google for images of her. I needed to know what likeness there was of her. In seeing her, being able to associate name and face, I thought I would be able to further validate my own ambition. I wanted proof to be an ambitious, beautiful black woman was hereditary, not fluke. I needed the lingering parts of me settled about that. There was depiction of her I found where she looks like me or my mother when she was younger.

Names indeed have influence, prestige and lineage. Names let you hold you head up a little taller, especially if you know there’s a history behind them! Make no mistake, because you have the name you do, you already get to establish history and prowess with it. Need I remind you of  *Quvenzhane Wallis?

Nikki Giovanni said,”If the black woman wasn’t made, she would have to be invented.” So accurate. It indeed is marvelous to be young, gifted and black.

*She the actress in the movie Beasts Of The Southern Wild, and most recently, Annie. She is an author, and actress whom was the youngest nominated for an Academy Award. There is a quote that is ascribed to the pronunciation of her name that the author, says requires one have ‘full use of the tongue.’  That article  was in response to a Annie press interview Ms. Wallis did where the interviewer was having an issue saying her name, and wanted to shorten it. Quvenzhane said, “No, you can call me Quvenzhane.”

I. Breathe. Fire.

I’m a writer.

A word alchemist.

I am well-read, with a hungering curiosity and the desire to continue to master this craft with these 26 letters. Make no mistake, I am fiercely protective of my gift, and don’t make that secret.

Which makes what happened to me all the more–infuriating.

In keeping with the theme this month about speech, words and voice, I would be dishonest not to share this. The situation has been rectified as of this posting, but I think it bares confronting for further edification of other writers and artists.

I was asked to write poem for The Awakenings Project , cycle 1 (A1) and I agreed. I wrote the first poem as favor to the artist,Marissa Southards. with the reception of that piece, which yielded the mantra for project: I Am She, She Are We, found in the poem First, Awakenings. It was most excellent to have my work well received. I am still in awe.

With the reception of that work, and the quoting of my work, I was elated. From that popularity, I got the invitation to write another piece for this project, this time for the second cycle, A2. I wrote a piece called *HOW I CAME TO BE, and read it at a celebratory gathering for A2. This piece was written from a hetero-normative, Judeo-Christian vision:  seeing as the author identifies as a Christ-believing cis-gender heterosexual woman.

Now, did I need to preface that? Nah.

But I did because I respected all those that were in attendance to the project, regardless of orientation or belief system.

During the reading, I was fine. The poem sounded just like I wanted. In the aftermath, however, there was coup brewing. There was participant, Marcia, whom identified herself as a queer atheist. Okay, fine. She told the creator  of the project, and I quote “she was a fan of my work, but she felt that my poem did not represent her, and she didn’t like how I used her word–Amazon.”

By now, y’all know that I am black woman.

Marcia is not.

She wanted me to change  my work, and she wanted to see the revision going forward.

Yes, I’m deadass serious.

She didn’t any make effort to speak to me personally, but the artist–whom is a dear friend whom happens to be white. Before I explain the resolution, let me tell you why this is a problem.

No one, and not NO ONE, takes my voice from me. If you take issue with what I said, or how I wrote something, come see me. I don’t need a handler, and I ain’t never been a mammy.

She pulled her white privilege on me, and circumvented me–with the same erasure that she perecieved she had been given. Marcia, I can only persume,  thought by doing that I would change my work, or be manipulated to change it. The worse thing? She said she was a fan of my work.

Really?

Aight.

Backhanded compliments do not work. I remember I was insulted and beyond pissed. I felt as if someone had watched me open my mouth to reach in and snatched my voice from my throat. With shock and rage, I called my husband and told him what happened with my immediate thought and quote  being:

Who does this bitch think she is?!”

 

I come from a people where everything we have and had is fought for–even the right to tell our own truth. So, I was comfortable in telling the artist, and I quote, “I am not changing a damn word of it. I can write something else, but I am not changing a word of that.” Some indignities go beyond, “How dare you!” This was one of them.

I was ready to fight!

As long as I have been reading–since 4, writing–since 8, you don’t get to dictate my imagination. You don’t get to pull offense as rank over something I wrote. I have fought too hard to get back to this gift to be punked to change anything.

I thought about that episode of Good Times, where Thelma won the contest but the contest sponsor wanted her to change the phrase black woman, and she wouldn’t. And because she wouldn’t change it, she lost.

I thought about how Phyllis Wheatley. I thought about how brilliant, versed, and enslaved existence– and how she died penniless when given freedom. I thought about Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Sallie Hennings, my grandmothers (Mollie and Arceal)  and my beloved Oracle Grandmother, Maya Angelou.

I thought about the women and men of and from whom I am descended and how they may or may not have even known how to spell their names. I would not change a word. It was my work. I made the decision to not be dictated regarding my work. Nall.

Resolution?

The artist sided with me. She put Marcia in her place (before I had to). As a result, Marcia pulled her photo from the project, and my work stayed in tact.

Marcia didn’t apologize to me, and neither did I. I expected what I got–nothing.

I snatched my voice from being stolen.

For my sake, and the ancestors.

*The poems listed are featured in a compliation book for The Awakenings Project–click here to order.

Mark-Making 

When I was a girl, I was fascinated by my hands. I was fascinated by what they could do, and the whorls, loops and ridges at the end of my caramel brown hands were the most intriguing. I would study how they left marks on everything they touched if I looked hard enough. I would be astounded how my fingerprints would just lay on top of whatever I touched. My fingerprints wouldn’t change the object I touched. My fingerprint didn’t change even though I had touched something. This physical, independent co-existence was fascinating.

I suppose this is just how I feel about writing, and recording my pathway through this life. There’s a lasting rhythm to this linguistic foreplay. There’s a way your work your text, find your flow, not questioning where the end is but focus on where you are. Even in that, the end is always the beginning.  Even the Bible says better is the end of a thing than the beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8).

The only thing more remarkable than fingerprints are words.  Without a doubt, the phrase which refuels me and steadies is from my mother:

“Don’t die with your dream in you.”

-Bessie Bush

I forget when she told me this, I had to have been in high school, on the cusp of being in a science major or a writer. These words came when I didn’t think that I could no anything else right or sufficient or independent of other people’s opinions. This quote became a bedrock of my adult self–when I wanted to quit, didn’t think that I would measure up or just feeling regular ol’ less than.

 

In these seven words my mother spoke over me, she thought she may have just been encouraging her slightly-emo daughter, giving her a reminder of her light and brilliance. However, twenty years have passed now.

What she declared over me, to me, was not just promise–it  was prophecy.

I can’t die without doing all I’m supposed to do. I can’t be average because I was never meant to be average. I’m destined for all I set my mind, and these hands–these same hands that wrote in dust on my grandmother’s buffet, commanded Barbie dolls to dance, now master 26 letters of the only alphabet I have known fluently.

Don’t die with your dream in you.

Don’t die with your dream in you.

In you.

In. YOU.

The same thing my mother declared over me, I declare over you.

This quote, coupled with my personal faith, have been mainstays in my almost forty years of life. Sometimes the best life-preservers aren’t through over the side or helms of ships, but spoken or read.

I know life is heavy, but don’t give up.

(Don’t you dare.)

 

The Loud Girl

I’m used to noise. I’m used to laughter, swearing, and other voice-powered thought in the midst of conversation. When my husband met me, he said I was a loud girl.

Hmm.

The LOUD girl.

When I was little, I didn’t know what that was. I did know that the loud girl was. I know that my mother taught my younger sister to be diplomatic versus loud and abrasive. “There is no need to act like you have no couth about you.”

My mom didn’t get loud with customer service, snap off about wrong orders or missing fries, or get finger-pointing indignant in Target when she thought she was being overcharged for something. In a world that expects every black woman to be this angry, mendacious presence, she was an antidote for that.

Aside from my mother and grandmother, the most formidable woman I know is five foot tall. My Aunt Linda is the most boisterous woman of whom I am related. She meant what she said, said what she meant and had no qualms about letting ninjas have it if she was upset–and it was never at a whisper.

But in that dichotomy held my balance. That same balance I knew and saw that not every girl whom looked like my mother or aunt had.

I learned how to handle people. I learned that not everyone responds to class and charm. I also learned that demure and finesse work a lot better than screaming and cursing which lead to more attention than you wanted–but you keep going because there’s attention drawn.

I learned to mean what I say and back up what I said I would and could do. The secret weapon? Be meek as a dove and wise as a serpent. Be vigilant and unfuckwitable.

I’ve seen the women that look like me in less than favorable light and speech whom have totally snapped out and lost it. I, too, have been the one that was in a less than favorable light, snapped out and lost it, with the trifecta present: cuffs, police and a camera.

In writing, there are moments that make editors insane because the text they read is not akin to the speech they are used to, and they desire to change it. That could be no more correct than in the community I make my home.

There are women so acquainted with pain that all they can do is lash out because they have never been listened to and had to fight for all they had. Men included. There are some women whom never have had to experience that type of loss, abandonment or pain whom look down on the women whom have. The lack of life experience can make you callous or curious.

If we’re honest, we all have been the loud girl or have loved one. We’ve also pointed them out and warned our younger siblings not to be that.

The we’ve also been the girl that couldn’t take anymore, who had to fight and stand up for herself because no one else has or would. We’ve dressed this pain and awareness up with degrees and zipcodes and $30 lipstick. But TRUST, those lioness selves stay at the ready.

Black women are not a monolith. We need to stop seeing ourselves as that. There are levels and depths to our stories and speech that can’t be dismissed because a woman that looks like you thinks it’s uncouth.

Granted, not every woman needs to be popping off about fries or full sets–not everything needs to be handled with a level-10 response. And just because the woman quietly waiting behind the woman at Target whom is popping off about sheet set she just bought isn’t being just as silly does not mean she doesn’t have the capacity to take it there if need be.

We gotta do better y’all. We start that by accepting the Great Gatsby quote as gospel:

Just because she’s the loud girl doesn’t mean she’s less than, hear?

If you’re honest, you knew them fries were cold and just didn’t say nothing…