“De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.”
- Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God
We are the epidemic. We emasculate black men. We enable black boys until they are misguided beyond redemption. We are why young black girls would rather twerk than read. A mere heavy sigh and swift change in the direction of our eyes incites fear into the hearts of white women and men alike. ”Did I say the wrong thing? Was I not politically correct? Is she going to go ‘angry sista’?” We’re not allowed to be overwhelmed or even justifiably angry. We just have to handle our own black girl stuff as best we can.
But handle it, we do. Sometimes with humor, other times anger. When it becomes too much, it’s handled with tears. We learned long ago that our feelings are only relevant when they directly benefit someone else. We can feel when it’s time to comfort you, counsel you, take up the banner and fight for you, bring our black girl energy into a boring room or open our legs and make you forget everything but luscious freedom. But when it comes to how we feel when no one else is around? All we got is us.
As solitary beings, we are too much. Our noses, lips, mouths, behinds, generalized bodes and even our thoughts are all too big. Our sexuality when seen solely from the vantage point of our enjoyment is loose, distasteful, and depending on who you ask, the very reason for the downfall of American society. Our daughters learn that they should grow up to be anything but us. Being your own black girl is a losing game.
But as the inimitable force of nature, @thepbg says, “Black girls are magic.” our cool is undeniable. Our smell, the sway in our walk, even the slow and easy way we can say “Hey, baby,” unlike any other person in the universe. The features that are too much on us are curiously just right for Angelina Jolie or Kim Kardashian. ”Ghetto” fashions are chic on white skin. It’s not that these women are not beautiful. It’s not that our culture is untouchable. But there is a difference between appreciation for a culture and separating it from the source. We see what you’re doing, and we take that shit personally.
We grew tired of awaiting acknowledgement, so we created communities of support and acknowledged ourselves. One large example is Beverly Bond’s brainchild, Black Girls Rock. Beverly is why I’m writing today, and why I typed the above captioned tweet over a month ago. Because the question came up, “Well, why don’t #WhiteGirlsRock?” I paused when I saw this and tried to ignore it. The more I worked to ignore it, the angrier I became.
There is a disturbing trend of treading on celebrations of black femininity. Sometimes it’s a passive aggressive inquiry, other times it manifests as a joke and still others as a blatant attack. I have grown weary of black girls and women always having to play small for the comfort of others.
So I have a message for anyone who will hear it:
We are done waiting for you to say that we are enough. We were fools to wait in the first place. We are not the sad tragic beauties who don’t know their worth. We are telling you our worth. We have listened to you and provided our shoulders and patience long enough. Everyone else has their turn. Everyone else has their time. When it is your time to rock, you may do so with vigor, aplomb and my full support. But today, it is not your time. It is Black Girl Time and if you are not here to offer your full support, you will shut the fuck up.
And while you’re shutting the fuck up, download that new Beyoncé. She is ALL about #BlackGirlTime.