Ode to the Black Womxn
I wish I could truly describe to you my emotions when Black History month comes around. It is like im always Black but I can be EXTRA Black this month and twice on Sundays. The Negro National Anthem is a fine response to any pettiness thrown your way at any time, but especially in Black history month. Do they not know who you are? Do they not know who I am? They must know the shoulders I stand on. Every response to the bullshit is LIFFFFTTTTT EV’RYYYYYY VOIIIIICCCEEE ANNNNNDDDD SINNNNG!!
A lot of times Black History Month is whitewashed (read that as all the time). We hear about the same 3 folks the white folks know about. Honestly, I am tired of all that. Its like MLK day but on steroids for some folks. They find the quote that pacifies them and their guilt and the rest of the year they forget that they ever cared about us.
I am sure you are wondering why I am typing about this on my blog that is about a depressed Black girl navigating graduate school, and don’t worry—this too is mental health.
How do you think it feels to be on a campus surrounded by folks that limit to your existence and knowledge to 28 days, and 29 if we lucky. My hand always finds its own mind in class to dispute all facts that paint Black folks in a bad light. All the ill stated stats that folks like to list. My “well, actually…” game is so strong this time of year. I hate that I can only breathe loudly in the 28 days of this month, the shortest month. And don’t get me wrong, I am Blackity, Black, Black every damn month but like I said a little extra right around February 1st.
Ya girl is depressed and my invisibility is exhausting! Like really, you don’t see this short auburn fro and fly ass kicks in the sidewalk? No, you don’t? That explains why you walked right into me. Why you took my idea in class and tried to pass it off as your own , until you need further direction. Congratulations you played yourself.
Although, I could write a 100000 volume series about how many micro aggressions and racism I have faced, but this post is not about that. This post is a shoutout to the Black womxn across the globe and throughout history who have seen me. Who have greeted me with a “Hey sis!” They genuinely asked me how I was doing and waited until I told the actual truth. “That’s great Joy, but lets talk about whats really going on!”
To the Black womxn who have picked me up when I was down. For those of us who have stood in front of bullets for our family (both literally and figuratively).
I could list all of the figures from history, but I won’t because I want to shout out those of us who are currently making history. Who sacrifice our mental health knowing we shouldn’t to complete our goals. When we our hurdles are 30 feet taller than the others who are in the race with us.
I would say their exact names, but I would be writing for ever. I think often of the women who stopped me from jumping of a proverbial ledge. I mean, that actually happened today. To the womxn who reached down to help me get to where they were. Took the time to elevate my skills. The ones who fight my fight even when I am not in the room.
These folks are important to my depressed Black ass. Y’all are the reason I have not quit yet. Y’all are the reason I will probably never quit; instead, I will cry for a few hours and then get my shit together and keep it pushing.
I see you Black Womxn. I see you with your arms out because you have taught me to have my arms out for the next person. The transparency you provide has allowed me to see that even if I fall it is not that bad, because everyone falls.
I wish history paid more attention to you. To the womxn who directed others to freedom. To those who wanted more education and kept going even when they said we couldn’t get in the ivory tower. I get why you’re not smiling all the time, why should we. Why should you. Life is shitty.
This is an ode to you because sometimes we may not even see each other.
Thank you for calming my anxiety. Thank you for the hugs like my grandma gives (when she’s not calling me fat). Thank you for the tissues you have handed me.