In a world which has taught the brothers and sisters of the darker persuasion to hate themselves, I choose to embrace everything that the world hates.
Yes, you read it right. I love what has historically and contemporarily been hated, thwarted, deemed inferior, considered ugly, black, disgusting. Everything that was written and spoken into existence about the African that was dubbed as “dark” and “dirty”, I wear it on me like a badge. I write boldly and say that in this space, in this place, I am unapologetic about who I am, what I am and where I come from. I am unapologetic about my ancestors. I am unapologetic about this melanin that blesses my skin. I am unapologetic about my history. I am unapologetic about my fight for racial equality in our present-day affairs. I am unapologetic about my work in enhancing the socio-economic and political future and territory of Black generations to come.
I am unapologetically, Black.
I am so Black that after you read this post, I hope the echoes of my melanin reverberate off your face. I am so unapologetic in my Blackness, that when I write, I hope you feel the fiery fierceness of Malcolm; the power of Audre; the spirit of Assata; the hope of Martin; that you feel the double-consciousness of the Negro like DuBois; and that you, without a doubt, know that I will not be moved like Rosa. I am so unapologetic that I hope that with everything that I do, you will be engulfed in Black history, the Black present, and the Black future; because I’m Black, 365, and in full circle, 360.
Now, more than ever, it is time to be unashamed in who we are, what we are, what we represent, what we believe in. I used to be afraid of who I was. I remember as a child being constantly questioned and ridiculed about my color and branded with certain stereotypical attributes that were equated with my race. I was either too Black or too White or I didn’t talk “Black” enough or I spoke “too White.” During that insecure space of my life, I tried so hard to find what was Black about me that I overlooked a critical element: that Black is multifarious; Black is multifaceted; being Black is as diverse as the African Diaspora and that being Black has no singular definition — like Lil’ Wayne said and I quote, “we are not the same/I am a martian.”
And now, more than ever I know who I am. I am a woman, a Christian, a writer, thinker, doer, lover, truth-seeker, friend, student. And I am Black and my Blackness is what I make of it.
Biology Lesson: Did you know that melanin absorbs sunlight? And that we are light-filled? Therefore, I too, am lit.
And like Langston Hughes said, I too, am America. But also, I must never forget that I too, am Africa.
I hope that this post serves as a catalyst to revolutionary self-love, self-preservation and self-care. Whether you are Black or White; gay or straight; Christian or Muslim; whatever, whomever, wherever, 2015 is a time to celebrate the uniqueness in you because I surely celebrate the uniqueness in me.
Because I am Black, unapologetically.