I was given my black card on August 17, 1994…my birthday. The day I entered this world through my mother’s portal of life. They say that you choose your parents or maybe it’s you choose your mother. Whatever the case, I’m glad I was grown and birthed by a black woman. There is a certain essence of life that exists when you’re a black woman, a greater appreciation for love and beauty. There is a unique way that you are made to see light in the darkness. Maybe it’s the acquired strength that comes from being last picked, forcing you to pick up and carry layers in addition to your already heavy load.
The darkness creates an environment where anything can be unleashed, the parts that you’re too ashamed for everyone to see. The darkness is the place where you can be free to be exactly who you want to be. Never having to be ashamed of you are, because there, in the darkness, you are hidden. The burden is we, the black women, can see what you have hidden within us. We are left pregnant with your secret sicknesses, birthing within ourselves self-hate mixed with pieces of the deepest hurts from love.
Popular culture depicts a perfect, albeit harmonious picture of blackness as an appreciated culture and history. Well the reality is quite different than a viral Instagram photo or hypersexualized idolization of our black bodies. There is an overwhelming emulation of the stereotypes of a nigger. What’s worse to me is the welcoming of these absurdities from my own people. Too many times have I witness, and even been assigned to, the “not black enough” black group, while black cards are freely handed out to those who can afford to adorn themselves with the latest urban trends in street wear. We can protest for equal treatment on all available platforms, rally together to fight injustices, and bring awareness to what it is to be black in America. But somehow, we lack the ability to stop passing out free black cards! I don’t understand why they are placed on a pedestal above and paraded as better, the standard.
To those who are deemed worthy of the pass, who feel so entitled to speak on the black struggle, hear me the black woman: don’t take our circumstance and your passive observations to equal up to our lives. There are so much to my people that words cannot give it justice. Simply put, there are so many of us that do not have the strength to bear the burden, it is so heavy that it kills us daily but is given names like: addicts, drug dealers, thugs and the list could drag on. I’m so sick of my blackness, being reduced to pieces of a person and aspects of life.
We are more than, even though we have been conditioned to accept less than.