Everybody wants to be black – until it’s time to be black. I used to see that quote often on twitter – black twitter to be precise and I would silently call people ignorant and fake woke but then Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and way too many black faces to name started to happen and I realized my suburban privilege wasn’t a privilege at all because I was part of the group the system was to extinguish. As James Baldwin once said,
‘to be black in america is to be in a constant state of rage’.
Well Mr. Baldwin, I understand, truly. These words began to hit different when I stumbled across a retweet on my twitter feed of a white woman with box braids basically telling all the rightfully angry black women (terrible stereotype) that there was nothing wrong with her getting box braids – tuh. She tried it.
Usually I try to keep my politics and really unfiltered thoughts to twitter because I prefer not to make a habit of debating people over my beliefs especially when they refuse to accept that they’re opinions and mine will never be the same. Sigh. But anyways, do you know how many black women get discriminated against for wearing protective styles? How in 2019 a handful of states finally BANNED companies from firing black women specifically for wearing braids, natural Afro and cornrows yet, some white girl who doesn’t understand the years of oppression and discrimination fixed her lips to say, “there’s nothing wrong with my hair”. GIRRRRRRL. STOP IT.
I won’t link her twitter feed because I refuse to give her anymore free attention but her tweet inspired me to embrace a protective style I chose for vacation and put in long form what my obvious blackness means to me.
My blackness is beautiful, its 28 years of growing up around strong women who don’t hesitate to reaffirm that my blackness is beautiful. Its seeing my moms beautiful black skin still healthy with age and wrinkles that tell decades of stories. It is strength. Raw fucking strength to always walk through this life reminding myself that I am black before I am a woman but the black skin I have is the skin so many people tan for. It is embracing those cornrows, that afro and those waist length box braids because my protective style is amazing. It is me.
I am a black woman and no matter what this world tells me that in itself is fucking beautiful.