My blogs generally follow one of two themes. Either they are super Christian-y and I’m struggling to figure out the world through my chosen religion, or I’m a busy mom, trying to figure out work-life balance. But today’s blog is going to focus on a piece of the puzzle that Is always running in the background but never takes center stage.
I don’t know why, but I’m feeling extra-melanin rich lately. I’m not sure if it’s Shannon Sharpe pulling out Black and Milds on cable, or Issa Rae at the Emmy Awards or what… But I’m conjuring all the Black-girl magic I can muster and sprinkling a little bit all over these streets, like it’s Mardi Gras 1999.
This is not to say that being a black girl in today’s world is easy. It is not. Misogynoir is real, out here in these streets. It always has been. We just recently came up with a cool name for it.
I remember the first time I became aware of my black girl-ness. I was in the fifth grade and had just won a statewide essay contest. The Daughters of the American Revolution had sponsored the competition. The topic was “What the Bill of Rights Means to Me.” The problem arose when it was time to present the award. Turns out that they didn’t believe a little black girl from inner-city could write such a quality essay. (I still have a copy of said hand-written essay. (My school had a limited number of Apple II E computers. It was the early 1990s.) The essay was trash!!, but still dubbed the best in the state.) Anyway, the DAR had nerve enough, after learning of my demographics, to question the authenticity of my essay. They asked my teachers and my mother whether or not I had help writing the paper. My mother laughed. Thank God they didn’t ask my father!
Anyway, a real-life embodiment of Marian Cotesworth Hay showed up and begrudgingly presented me with my award. I smiled for the cameras and graciously accepted.
Today I am being slightly less gracious, but equally as black.
You want to question my intelligence or integrity, I will explain to you in a mix English, “Ebonics”, and Spanish if I feel like it, why you bet not never try it again.
You want to touch my or my children’s hair? Nah, son. You are getting an American history lesson, complete with references, about why that’s offensive. I also might pop your hand. Do not try me.
Because, I don’t know if it’s the fact that Bodak Yellow is getting more airplay than Taylor Swift, or if it’s the fact that Rihanna’s Fenty beauty is making waves in the whitewashed beauty industry
But I am feeling myself today. In all my afroed glory.
I’m black and I’m proud.