blackness is under constant assault. by definition, it is the absence of light; the opposite of clean (deeply stained with dirt). there are so many negative associations with the word back that we have a love hate relationship with the word, and by extension its connection to our skin. society says it is offensive to whiteness to value and love blackness. i don’t mind being offensive. say it loud, i’m black and i’m proud.
as we continue to cry out that #blacklivesmatter, #blackisbeautiful, and #ilovebingblack, i find myself reveling in the beauty, grace, strength, power, and love that has colored my blackness. oh there is pain to be sure. lots and lots of pain. the only group to have endured more pain on this planet than the black race are women. and when you’re black and woman, you might as well be invisible. there is pain. yet still i rise.
that invisibility has been a struggle for me most of my life. when you don’t fit the incredibly limited mold of what a black woman is (smart-mouthed, neck-rolling, lip-smacking, under-your-breath-mumbling, loud, aggressive, and angry) you might as well not exist. to be fair, i’m no push over and you will not talk to me or treat me any ole kind of way. but i’m also a bubbly personality who prefers to spend time enjoying life than fighting ignorance and foolishness. i’m not going to “pop off”at the mouth, flip tables, or get “mona scott” on you. not me. not happening. i want to be in nature, geeking out on my sci-fi and fantasy, changing my community, and generally loving the skin i’m in.
historically, there hasn’t been a trope for my kind of black woman. thanks to the interwebs i’ve been introduced to more and more black women like me. and i’ve meet more and more black women who are not like me, but aren’t like the tired tropes hollywood and society shoves down our throats either. we are as diverse in personalities and interests as we are in skin tones, body shapes, and hair textures. the more i am exposed to the beauty of blackness, the more i fall in love. i love being black!
as we move into martin luther king jr. weekend – the time of year when white people tend to co-opt a movement many reluctantly accepted; where news pundits hijack king’s speeches and reduce him to safe sound-bytes effectively stripping him of all the radical righteous indignation packed into every carefully crafted speech he expertly delivered – i want to reflect on the greatness of blackness. i want to celebrate our beauty, our talent, our creativity, our fight, our humanity.
because i’m a serious technofile, i spend a lot (more than is probably healthy) of time online consuming media. sometimes it’s news. sometimes it’s entertainment. sometimes it’s uplifting. sometimes it’s depressing. in all times, it moves me. here are a few of the things i’ve found lately that have me screaming at the top of my lungs “i love being black!”