We as black women are blessed with an adorning of power. We are strong, because by being black we are forced everyday to go to war with the ideas that introduce themselves and proclaim who we are as black women before a word or formality ever slips out of our lips. Our skin speaks. We ask it to let our lips do the talking, but it cannot, its position coated in histories of melanin- is firm.
There was a point in my life when I asked her to stop, to stop screaming so loudly the proclamation that “I am black” wherever we went. I was embarrassed, not intentionally, but I felt she spoke in volumes and tones that other did not. She was loud and asked things of me that I had never expected of myself. She asked me to fight. I was weak and ill prepared, and the stress of having to contest every black female stereotype out there because of the color of my skin rotted my soul with anxiety.
As I matured, I came to realize that this was going to happen regardless of what I wanted, that she was going to turn heads, and that people would watch her wherever she and I went together. Suddenly I was aware of the battle. I told her I was going to make every effort to be proud of her and that together we would fight the notions that we could be forced against our will to belong to the shallow niches that society had carved out for us.
“This is who you are”, they said, and she screamed “No, that is who you think I am”.
Our skin speaks. She does not tell you who you who you should be because you are black, she does not tell you how you should act because you are black; she does not tell you how you should speak because you are black. Our skin speaks. Our skin speaks in presence, and she proclaims, “I am here and I am important”.
Our skin speaks.