Growing up, I heard about history, the colonization of Africans, the slave trades, suffering, brutality, battery and let’s not forget the inhumane discrimination that has crawled into the present time.
I grew up into a world of told and untold stories, A world that has continuously downcasted the dark skinned and portrayed them wrongly.
But, how exactly can I blame the present generation for not understanding the depth and weight of the past that is on our shoulders? when the only thing we can point out are the invisible shackles on our thin wrists, shackles we have visualised for so long and cannot seem to break from.
Growing up,we were taught the language of silence,No one understands you, so keep it to yourself. Silence was the only music our ears had ever heard, whether it was to not appear weak, or whether it was to not appear violent, Our limbs had stayed on our lips. successfully shutting the chain of words that screamed to be heard.
Growing up and walking into society, Perfectionists sang on every side, and Even amongst our own kind We were treated differently. Why though? why do we continuously have to remind ourself that black is beautiful, why is it not just an untold fact, like all the stories we were forced to keep in our wounded hearts, stories from the past that plague the present and threaten the future.
We are creatives, Legacies like blood pumping in our “go getter veins”, Fighters with no ammunition’s but the burning desire to create change. Growing up, I was given so many reasons to feel insecure, You know when there are so many reasons to give up, but you choose to continue moving? that was how I felt when I decided to be comfortable in my own skin!
Black is beautiful, black is bold. Black is strong and Black is Vibrant.
I came from a society whose only future for girl’s was to get settled at a particular age, or else they were hounded and even though the present age is slowly changing, that mentality is still there, I came from a society who is more than ready to judge and criticize your every move. So we cover our mistakes, paint our flaws and hide our imperfections, I came from a society where a parent does not know their own child.
I came from a society where “Silence is golden” The kind of golden that taints you from inside and ruins your black. it swallows your words and sings the songs of silence like lullabies of old. I am not ranting, I am simply Expressing the thoughts you were at a loss of words to say.
I came from a society where so much is expected but so little given, where dreams weigh like heavy bricks and no one is willing to move till the lights turn green. Each person a bigger coward than the last. the fear of risk worse than death itself.
Being an African, I have never had that feeling of not being comfortable in my own skin, probably because I have never left my own city? but even that cannot justify it, I myself have seen people blame their skin color for their lack of progress.
“I lost my job cause the other candidate was fairer and finer”
“It was based on favoritism”
“Everyone wants a fair skinned girl”
Heck! I came from a Race where people killed their dreams before they even slept! where people drowned before they got to water! I came from a Race who was portrayed as weak because they refuse to let go of a stigma that has clouded their eyes. I came from a society full of strong people with weak minds!
I came from a society where people would rather Read books than write them! Where people were less concerned about important issues because they believed it did not exist
Where mental health is not a thing and one is asking for attention if they point it out! where depression is “Old talk” and stereotypes are walking around! Where women are forced to bring out the strong feminism in them because of patriarchy!
I came from there. But I made sure not to remain there, not in that society, I meant I made sure I did not let that mentality rub off on me! I could be what ever I wanted!
You! You don’t get to choose what race or society you are put in! but You get to choose what you make of those remains or pieces.
You get to choose how you react to those situations or those thoughts. You get to choose whether you wait for the light to go green? or you get out of that car and run, and if hurdles slwo you down walk and if your legs weaken, crawl and when you can no longer crawl, move. Don’t just change the world! Be the change!
Be the start of that Era our silence screams for! You are Unique, Strong, Bold,Vibrant, creative, Productive, Beautiful and BLACK
Give yourself credit!
I wrote a poem concerning this, titled NAKED here’s the link!