Written by Nicole
I was watching my guilty pleasure show of choice this week, The Originals, and despite the stilted writing, the same old tropes, and tired mythology, there was one line in particular that struck such a chord with me I had to stop and write this blog.
The plot and the scene is irrelevant, as the two sentences are just so powerful on their own. If you want to see it yourself, it was from Season 3 episode 13. Incidentally, though, the actress that spoke this line was a beautiful, dark-skinned actress, Tracy Ifeachor, which made it all the more meaningful for me. The line was “It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours.”
I believe that simple phrase could be a powerful mantra for black women everywhere.
How does this relate? For me, I admit I have written some inflammatory statements during my time as a writer on this platform. The reason for this is manyfold – I am frustrated with black women doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I am sick to death of hearing the same “woe is me” narrative from black women, despite the number of options available to literally change your fate. And of course, my posts are inflammatory because as the metrics have shown, it is what people want. Nobody wants the light and love posts, but if the content is triggering in any way, the floodgates open with haste.
The stances I take are not intended to be personal slight against you. And, the vast majority of the time, I don’t mean to offend. I want the best for the collective of black womanhood. If black women collectively flourish, so do I. And if we are not flourishing, or worse yet, actively denigrating our own image, by nature of belonging to the collective, that can impact me too. There have been many women before me who used a light and love approach as it pertains to some of the problems we face. And while that tack has its place, sometimes, you need the cold, hard slap of truth to snap you out of it. It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours.
Here are some examples.
Skipping the noble but soul-sucking helping professions as a career choice to be a computer programmer instead? It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours.
Abandoning the food and eating practices that have been passed down for generations, despite the longstanding history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity in the community? It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours.
Staying home from the latest march for the latest social justice incident? It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours.
Not having a baby you can’t afford? It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours. Yep, even the life you create.
Cutting off friends, relatives, and anyone else who doesn’t serve your ultimate goal? It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours.
Rejecting the advances of a dusty do-nothing of any race because he would not add to your life? It’s nothing personal. I just value my life above yours.
And on and on it can go.
So, the next time someone asks you “why did/didn’t you do XYZ?”, even though that is the way they might have done it, or generations before us have done it, you can say, with full confidence, that it’s nothing personal. You just value your life above theirs.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.