Before you read on, know that this post is not referencing any particular protest or activism going on right now. I am speaking in generalities.
Sisters, before you set out to make signs, march, yell, scream, cry, put yourself in the line of fire, risk your freedom and risk acquiring a criminal record, please listen to what I want for you.
When you see snippets of my life in my garden, tips on makeup and hair, health stories and exercise tips, please understand that I do these things not only to inform, but to encourage. I show you, because I want all the pretty things of life for you. Why? Because you deserve it!
Many of us have been force-fed ‘struggle life’ for so long that we simply accept it as just “how things are.” Every time black women protest for men who have suffered under police brutality while the community is essentially a no-show when black women are the victims, we swallow that blatant disregard for our own humanity as simply accepting it as “how things are.”
We are told that our men have it rough, so we need to patient, understanding, forgiving, silent, and flexible. Don’t expect to be married when you conceive a child 73% of the time, because hey–that’s just how things are. Asking for a man with equal education and career prospects is being a bougie bitch. Give that felon a chance, girl!!
Don’t complain if those in you community degrade you for the kinks in your hair or the darkness of your skin. Be silent when you see the blatant colorism and shade discrimination that negates your femininity. Shut up and be quiet. No one wants to hear from you. Not when “the precious” are dying in the streets. And until “our precious,” are safe, no one cares about your struggle. How selfish of you to even mention it!!
So when you see me gardening and preparing my harvest, or giddy because I found a new shade of lipstick, or going on and on about some new hair product I think you should try, or give you glimpses of my life in beautiful wine country Temecula, understand I do all things things in part because sometimes, you just need to see what’s possible beyond a life of strife, struggle, and servitude. You need to see what it looks like for a dark skinned, kinky haired black chick to be a stay-at-home mom. You need to see how healthy and slim you could be if you stopped pushing all your pain down with food and embrace your body as a temple in which all you consume is whole and wholesome.
You need to see in practice what people in our community may tell you is impossible, improbable, and simple too high for your station. You need to see.
I want you to see what it looks like to embrace your femininity and be taken care of by a man committed to providing, producing and protecting his family and his wife–you know, the dark, gap-toothed nappy headed one that was told he would never marry, and here we are, 15 years later…
YOU NEED TO SEE.
You are more than someone’s mule. You are more than a gambit to put on front lines of battle. It is not aiming to high to want a nice, quiet life. Every day doesn’t have to be a Mary J. Blige ballad. What you see that I have, I sincerely want for you.
Now if you still want to go out there and fight when no one is fighting for you, I won’t stop you. But I hope I’ve given you something to think about when you look around and see who is and isn’t out there risking life and limb with you.