Dear Black & Brown Sisters, Mothers, Grands and Greats,
As a white women, we see you, we feel you.
We know that our ancestors were nursed and cared for by all of your greats. That some ‘great’ white men rapped and pillaged you & your families.
But you fought for us. You never turned away from love. We know our blood lines survived because of you. That your ancestors saw our ancestors as children, as beautiful young spirits with no color — only body and soul.
As I sat in the sun today in the Common writing this I did some deep soul seeking and reflection.
The American Juxtaposition of beauty is be golden, be tan, maybe be brown, but don’t nor can you be black. I’m not sure why, seeing that it’s the color of the womb. The color that embraces every woman and man as we take shape in the bodies that carry our souls in this life. The place that sees no light yet holds us in safety & comfort.
As women, We have been raised in a space of want, wanting to be something different rather than the celebration of us. But as white culture sang of love, confusion, and drugs; black culture sang of love, freedom & truth.
I spent my summers laying in the sun with my white sisters, cousins and friends as we compared who was more sun kissed than others. My sisters and cousins had the golden brown glow, I accomplished 50 shades of red.
The first time I heard the ‘black is beautiful’ campaign was in college 2001, and it was not ever a question to me, it was something that was just known to be true.
Growing up in Montana, we were taught to love the beauty of the land. Of all aspects shapes and conditions. The uneven edges of river beds, the way the wind blows through the valley, the jagged edged bluffs. There is a diversity and beauty in all scapes, but the issue with some places is the lack of diversity of people.
I think humans want different experiences but some are too scared to venture out of the box to experience it. Being the odd man or woman out, is hard but it makes us multi dimensional. It’s builds will, empathy and understanding.
I was lucky to grow up in the age that I did. Where Pop Culture became a ‘thing.’ When Michael Jackson was named the Prince of Pop, where black culture flooded the feeds of music and social consciousness. Where the Super Model era were the Cindy Crawford’s, Nicki Taylors, & Naomi Campbells.
We grew up idolizing the athletes: Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., Serena Williams, Denise Rodman, Patrick Ewing, and Kevin Garnett — not only for their talent but for what they stood for as individuals — perseverance and tenacity.
As we listened to the musical decades of our parents generation 50s and 60s Doowop and Motown and grew up on mixture of: top 40, the Cosby Show, MTV, Love & Basketball, Fresh Prince of Belair, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Sex in the City, Steel Magnolias, and Waiting to Exhale.
We feel your rhythm and your love.
You have been our friends, our mentors, teachers, and other mothers. You have seen us for our humanity and who took a chance on an awkward sometimes quiet but sometimes outspoken ‘white girl. You have spoken to us from a firm space — one of love and concern for our overall well being.
You have given and shared energy of momentum and will and for that we as white women are more whole hearted.
As I say to all of my girlfrinds, The more I come to know people the less I belive in race, it’s a matter of one human race with many cultures. But that is not to say that race: the fact that someone chose to write it into the human story line -the history of its decent, and the oppression attached to its brand, and the fact of the matter at hand — violence, stereotypes and unwarranted yet taught and bought fear.
The deconstruction of it is acknowledging our belief in the concept can be deconstructed by us discussing it. How it was created to keep us apart to create an era of competition between women.
In my experience the best things in my life have been given to me through friendship with women. Through collaboration and conversation. In times of extreme happiness and of deepest sorrow. Those who have lifted us in times of struggle.
Would we not rather address it as adults now than have to have our children have that conversation between each other. Would we rather not disrupt the circle of violence now? Is this not the best way to protect our children, by having these hard conversations.
We will always stand with you as your allies & sisters because we know the history. We understand the pedestal that many of us, myself included, at some point in our lives have perpetuated.
But know that we see you- your integrity, grace, creative space. How you have not only raised awareness, but a nation.
I cannot express how thankful I am that the source energy of this world has brought us to this space of expansion and human evolution. Thank you for your patience, your kindness, and your relentless will.
And on that note, I will end with:
Thy will be done.
(Next post is to myself and my white women.)