What’s Happening Wednesday: Chucks and Pearls

I couldn’t write this morning. Scratch that. I tried to write this morning. For 45 minutes I typed, typed, typed away, trying not to wake my husband with the clickety-clack of the keys on my laptop. But when I read what I wrote, I was disappointed. The words on the page were as uninspired as I felt. So I scrapped the whole thing. And then it happened.

Not the inauguration. I didn’t even watch it. I’ll hear about it later this evening. But what happened was an explosion on my timeline of chucks and pearls. If you are unfamiliar with this phenomenon, then you don’t have enough black women in your newsfeed.

Black women across the nation were donning their sneakers and the jewels they were handed down by their mothers, in solidarity with now Vice-President Kamala Harris. I watched in awe as my friends and their children lit up my timeline. This was my inspiration.

First, I have to say that I was a little bit jealous. While I have plenty of pearls to choose from, I do not own a single pair of Converse. I am obviously in the minority here, because most of my friends had them in multiple colors. I feel obligated to buy a pair, so when Mrs. Kamala is elected to higher office, I will be ready.

The symbolism of the chucks and pearls campaign is not lost on me, as a black woman. Chuck Taylors are every day shoes. They are not flashy, nor are they fancy. And as evident in my timeline, they are common. But pearls, pearls are rare. They are classic. They are cultivated. They are coveted, much like black women.

To the outside world, we appear regular, ordinary, and common. People rarely notice us, and when they do, it’s because they think we are out of place. But those who sit near are hearths and hold space for us in their hearts know a deep and resilient beauty. Just like pearls we vary in size, in shape, and in color, but our worth is immeasurable.

Matthew 13:45 likens the kingdom of heaven to a merchant seeking pearls. He found one and traded all he had for it. Lucky me, I am surrounded by pearls every day. Mothers and daughters, sisters and friends, aunts and cousins. You all are a field of treasures, within arms reach. Your worth is far above rubies, and I love you.

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