Soul Searchin

An ode to Black women.

It can be difficult at times to be both black and woman. So much weight is placed on our shoulders. We endure with endless love and loyalty to our men, the cause and somewhere in there, we have to find space for ourselves. We are asked to be the backbones of our families while standing on the frontlines to fight the good fight. We give of ourselves tirelessly and make it look effortless. Our causes, style, and movements are co-opted by women of a different hue and the hard work and labor we put in are looked over while someone else gets the praise and support. We are expected to champion behind our own even when it’s at our expense. Our safety comes secondary to the fight to be able to abuse us without consequences like their white counterparts. We as a people are constantly stripped of our humanity and left for dead.

The entire system was built to oppress and limit us as black people. It is also rooted in sexism. And so here I am, both black and woman. Imagine that. The intersectionality and weight of both plights. I must fight past the restraints that are set in motion to keep me in my place and do it was grace and humility as to not be seen as an “angry Black woman”. But I am angry. We scream and no one listens, we hurt and no one cares, we’re in danger and no one protects us. Yet if we don’t do it, it being an endless list of things, who will? And even if they try, who will do it well? It’s amazing that we are still able to love, to radiate joy and find happiness. It’s amazing that we can offer the world out brilliant minds, wow them with our immense talent, and still look damn good doing it. So much heartbreak and weariness yet we still press on.

So to my fellow Black girls and women. I say to you; it is okay to put the love of self first. It’s okay to step away for self-care. It is okay to create boundaries, to say no, to refuse to be used and abused. You are worthy of reciprocation and consistency. You deserve to not only be recognized but appreciated. So take time for you, the world will just have to save itself that day. And if/when you do decide to return to the frontlines, if you feel inspired to continue to champion behind the important causes, to create, to share your intellect, to allow for anyone to have the honor of being in your presence in any capacity; do so with your head held high and with a swagger in your step. For you are the salt of the earth and the greatest being known to man. They watch you from the curve in your body to the fullness of your lips — the sway in your strut to the sass in your speech. They secretly admire your versatility and resilience, your beauty and grace. An aura we possess like none other, one that they may try, but can never match nor replace. No longer will we seek the approval of anyone else nor will we allow ourselves to be anyone mules. We will reclaim our time, unapologetically shine and change the world. We’ll wear our hair kinky or straight. We’ll take ownership of our bodies and do what we please with them, wear what we want on them and love them in all shapes and sizes. We will not accept suffering in exchange for the idea that it is required to be loved adequately. We will embrace our flaws and not allow anyone to use them against us. We will make room at the table for each other, pulling each other up one by one. No longer is there only a place for one or two of us at the top, hell we built the stairs, we’ll all climb up. I am honored to be raised by you and to stand beside you. Let us keep and encourage each other so that we may rise. Let there never again be a time where we are hidden, forsaken, or overlooked. Today and every day is Black girl time. So please politely remind the person who’d try to silence you to STFU when you’re talking, stunting, and illuminating. I believe that we will soar and I know that we will win.

I love you all.

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