As a black woman, I wear the intersectionalities of my identity with honor, pride, and confidence. Even when I feel inadequate, it is my identity as a black woman that encourages me to persist! I have experienced moments of doubt, self-hate, insecurities, and trauma; but it is the reminder of the resiliency among my people that get me back up, every time I fall.
In recognition of Black History Month, I would like to dedicate this blog post (a spoken word piece) to a population of women I believe are the backbone to so many and so much but are often disregarded, even among our own people. BLACK WOMEN (including Afro-Latinx women), this piece is for you! I hope to encourage you to love and see yourself, to love and see your sisters, and to love and see your value and worth. To allies, join me in celebrating these unsung sheroes; today, tomorrow, and forever.
A Message of Love to Black Women
Dear Black Women who are constantly overlooked in all that you do because systemic levels of oppression trap you within the confines of sexist walls-and racial injustices within your identity cause you to feel less than, voiceless, and irrelevant. Despite your intelligence, countless earnings of terminal degrees and impeccable work ethic, you are still viewed as insignificant when your worth is assessed as though you aren’t priceless. Professional Black Women: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women, whose beauty is fetishized in the eyes of those who look nothing like you and are admired by those who most resemble you solely because your external appearance favors that of white women. As though the appropriation of our gender based racial identities aren’t enough and the struggle to have our natural selves be viewed as beautiful wasn’t tough. Dark Skinned and Light Skinned-Bald, Braided, Natural, Relaxed, Weaved Hair Black Women: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women who carry the weight of your entire race on your back, based off attempts to survive today; beyond historic slave narratives that required black women to protect their flesh as they laid on their backs-absent mindedly present as their present this moment ejaculates hateful beauty-creating life in their wombs from their masters. Taught to love yours so much you’re scared to touch them and love theirs by force, you’ll do anything to protect them. Your backs weak and broken, but your commitment to your people reigns strong. To My Ancestors and Modern Day Black Women: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women who have raised or are currently raising black boys to be the black man you’d always dreamed he’d be-stay indestructible as bullets disguised as his valuable life are released at the pull of the trigger alongside his dreams that never became reality. Though his name now legendary, grave stone dashes symbolize the length of time his dreams and yours were sold to you as hope under false pretenses, at rates too high you wished you were able to give it back-to get him back before it was foreclosed on for closure. Black Mother: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women who are too afraid to love yourselves for who you are because the thought of being true to oneself is more powerful than the actualization of self-love externally and internally. Easier to love the mirage than the actuality of our true selves in reality. The fear of true exposure is too deep so you hide, crouching behind lies is easier than standing in the face of truth. Insecure Black Women, Perfectly Imperfect: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women who proudly identify as LGBTQ and struggle to love and be loved openly because laws don’t’ protect the pain you feel from family, friends, and strangers who don’t understand the laws of you. You play hide and seek with your heart, hoping one will seek for what you worked so hard to hide. Hidden so deeply damaged that even when found, you’re lost. LGBTQ Black Women: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women who are conflicted by the loyalty encompassed within feminism as white women fight for women’s equality but hesitate to stand up for all that represents you and me because the feminist movement wasn’t established to protect all of you and advocate for you fully. Black Women Questioning Feminism: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women whose innocence was stripped away leaving your flesh behind where the assault took place that day, and your soul forever changed; fearful of speaking up because the culture of rape says you wanted it—even though all of your shattered bone cries were against it. Living in silence while your insides are screaming to be whole again, but you have no idea how to pick-up the pieces and prove it. Black Women Sexual Assault Survivors: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women whose assertive ways do not waver as she envisions a life much greater than that in which she sees. Wanting more, with expectations she knows are not too much to ask for. But instead of receiving respect, she is dismissed and called an angry black bitter b**** for sharing what she knows-holding people accountable because anything less than is deplorable. Boss Ass Black Women: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women who fishes with her heart, hoping to be caught or catch the love she knows she deserves but has yet to receive, battling societal and cultural scriptures that state expectations right to them, (the narrator); without consideration of what is right to her, (the main character). Hopeless Romantic Black Women: I. See. You!
Dear Black Women who are skeptic of the success and advancement of other black women. Who empower other black women, yet tear them down because so few black women make it, you are left to believe there isn’t room for us all. As though dreaming realities are only allowed for a selective few and your success is contingent on no other black women advancing. The success of other black women does not take away all opportunities from you! Ambitiously Intimidated Black Women: I. See. You!
Black Women: I. See. You!
Black Women, I see your battles between the external world and the internal world. Battle wounds so deep that only the love of a sister can heal them for not all that is spoken is misunderstood: Sisterhood.
Black Women, I hear your cries of love, joy, pain, and hurt. Always looking to find the light-even when your light is dimmed, you’d rather let a friend shine over you any day in faith that all will be ok: Friendship.
Black Women, I feel you. Touches so warm and nurturing that even with a heart so empty, your love is so full. Soft kisses and gentle hugs to all those you love let all know that even through challenge, you are strong, because even when you are down, you are up: Queenship.
Beloved Leaders Acquiring Constructive Knowledge – Wonderfully Optimistic Magnificent Ebullient Nubian notion of eloquence and celestial in human form; for all wonder about these women and the powers they possess; as strength, courage, love, patience, intelligence, hope, and desire for excellence exudes in the palm of her hands turning all she touches to gold.
Black Women, I see you. Black Women, I hear you. Black Women, I feel you. Black Women, I Love you. Do you? Do we?
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