My Black, My Truth


I struggled for a long time with deciding to change my target audience. Perhaps I could relate my posts and experiences to all women and not just black women. Every woman needs empowerment – right? These thoughts rang over and over in my head as I plotted out a new path for DEAR QUEENS.

Maybe I should change my focus. Write about things that everyone can relate to. I suggested that I utilize a more general perspective, instead of focusing on issues that are ever-present in black womanhood and black culture. Issues like black girls being magic, ignoring society's perceptions of our physical beauty, and using 'Lemonade' as an outlet to tell our own stories.

These thoughts even trickled into my real-life interactions – being able to connect better with my African American counterparts, than any others. Not because of any prejudice, but because of our similarities. Because of our stories. Because of the unignorable beauty of our culture and the connection we forge because of it. For much of my adult-life, I felt this to be a hindrance to the woman I'm trying to become, both in my purpose and in my professional life. Maybe I should try to relate more to others, even if it doesn't come naturally. But the more I dive into me, the more I realize this is who I am and I have to love it.

As important as it may be to empower every woman, I can not speak to every woman's experience, because, I, myself, am a black woman, with a black woman perspective – and this black woman journey is all I know.

To water down my truth in an attempt to appeal to a wider range of women would be doing a disservice to those who're constantly being unserved: black women. To change my black voice to one that fits the general population will mean losing my voice. The voice that encouraged me to create this outlet of inspiration. The voice that's been keeping this thing afloat. The voice that has provided the lessons and insight I lovingly share here. The voice that forms the words of this process and uses it to connect with others like me. The only voice I have. 

See, I love my blackness. I love my black experience, my black journey – and every ounce of love and hate it may come with. I love how my melanin generates both great struggles and great triumphs. I love how my stories are not from a place of just womanhood, but of black womanhood and how unignorable that is. I love how my A.M.E Zion church is rooted in tradition. I love how my history – though heart-shattering – is synonymous with strength and rooted in perseverance and unity.  

I love how my red-toned skin tans. How my brown body looks in coral bathing suits and floral print sundresses. I love the dark brown freckles that grace my body in unforeseen places; and the darker brown beauty mark on my thigh. I love my lips, my nose, and my almond eyes. I love how my curves fill out jumpsuits, and how this lent its way to insight about street harassment

I love how black music, black art and black culture is used as a blueprint for what's "hot". I love how in the midst of its appropriation, black style cannot be mimicked. I love the creativity of my black counterparts and how we often turn our black trials into bold black testimonies. I love how my blackness cannot be avoided nor ignored – forcing me to accept and appreciate every inch of this blackness in ways that only other black bodies can understand. Can receive. Can wallow in. 

See, I love my blackness. I love my black life, my black struggles, and the journey of this thing called black womanhood. My blackness cannot be ignored, nor should my black voice be silenced. So, while appealing to a wider audience may be great, I love my blackness too much to water down my experience. I love it too much to water down yours too. We need these lessons in the brown skin context of which they come, and I will continue to provide them through these brown fingertips. 

There will be things we all can relate to, but there are some things that can only be shared through my black woman perspective. And I learned to be completely okay with that. 

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