The Black Sheep Black Girls
While the world is finally catching on — we’ve been here for years.
I grew up wondering what it meant to be a Black girl. I looked at it with my head cocked sideways. It was just this sweater that would surly look better on the hanger than on me. But there was nothing else to wear. It fit me strangely. Loose in some places, constricting in others. As a writer I wasn’t even sure what being a writer meant. Was I a writer first or Black first? My narrative didn’t seem to fit on the page.
The turning point for me was when I finally took my head out of the “Let’s see what’s available” cloud and began to look within. I thought about the things that made me up and whether or not I admired them or despised them. The things I admired most — my giant afro, my sarcastic twang, my quilted spiritual beliefs, my frustration with inequality — were the things that defined me in this way that kind of shitted on being defined. I liked it.
On Finding Ourselves (and each other)
The thing about being a woman and specifically a Black woman is that the world kind of believes we should be happy with what we get. We can vote, we can buy property, we can be CEO’s or the POTUS or fly to the moon. Compared to a century ago — that is amazing progress. But satisfaction should never really grace anyone’s tongue when you’re talking about a any marginalized group of people. It means that the catching up, the taking what we are owed, the rising above — will never actually stop. Women should always be reaching for the next thing.
Black creative women are a special breed. So many micro-topics fall into this issue. Like… Sure she can paint, but what that mouth do? We all know we get more likes when we post a selfie than we do when we post an event flyer. There’s this expectation that being creative is the icing on your cake if you’re a Black girl.
But nah, being creative is the cake. Having your work appreciated is the icing.
I spend a lot of my time stalking people. It’s what I do now. I obsess over a handful of hashtags and follow the rabbit hole into this endless labyrinth of Black girl magic. All these mystic unicorns that exist in the nooks and crannies of the world doing unicorn shit. I immediately vibe with these women and we become instant best friends.
We might see a way to help each other, or support each other. We might feel uplifted just by knowing there’s others out there with nappy roots and melanated cheekbones who are defying gravity. I love that no matter what women tend to build tribes without even trying. I love that putting our noses up to each other is no longer the shit.
So if you see me, say hi. Because I’m here for the collective glow up.