They touch our hair without permission; they ask ignorant questions at the most inappropriate times, accuse us of being ghetto because we wear hoop earrings and can twerk (this is before copying us and saying that they only appreciated our culture) and they call our sons thugs because they like rap music. They then have the audacity to call us an angry black woman and tell us we have an attitude problem because we get annoyed by this. We’re always the last ones to be recognized for our beauty unless our child is mixed. We’re told that we’re scary and intimidating because we’re passionate about the things we love. We’re told our natural hair isn’t professional, and when we straighten it, we’re accused of wanting to be white. We’re boxed into categories as soon as someone hears our name, but yet we still hold the confidence to keep climbing the legacy ladder. All to give our kids hope that someday, they might be accepted.
I’m here to tell you that era of seeking acceptance in a society that doesn’t even actually accept itself is over. No longer should Shalisha need to change her name “Shay” so that Tommy can feel less intimidated. No longer should Marquisha feel the need to procreate with someone of a lighter complexion so society won’t call her child ugly. We don’t need their love or acceptance, why are we still fighting for it? No one should feel the need to conform to a culture that doesn’t see their value, no matter what their race is. Self-love should always be one’s first love. But as black women, we carry the burden of being a double-negative, black and a woman. We no longer have to feel the weight of that responsibility.
This post is for every black girl who’s ever felt like she has to tone herself down so society will accept her. For every biracial girl who feels forced to choose sides, for every dark skinned girl told she isn’t good enough, for every light skinned girl who’s ever been pushed into a box and then hated for it. You ladies are my inspiration. I’m tired of us feeling like we need validation from those who will never understand us. I value you. I don’t blame you. That’s because I am you. Flexible hair, full lips, and more curves than a mountain road. This is us. We carry the strength to endure being the bane of the world’s existence, and the soulful creativity to be the world’s inspiration. We come and many colors and sizes, but we’re still one. And we are more than enough. And this year, we will not be taking any more of that shit. We cannot end racism, for there will always those few feeling like they are superior. But the more we love ourselves, and our sisters, and our children, the less we’ll allow that affect us. So head up, shoulders back, and let’s slay!
Written by Tiara Letrice, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad