However you spell it, there is something special and unquantifiable about the relationship Black women have with each other.
There is no need to discuss what we’ve been through, because with one look at each other…we fucking know.
We see each other’s struggle the way that no one else can, in ways no one else can fathom. We are majick because we are connected to each other by blood, by color, and by shade.
We know that life is harder for those who look like us than it is for those who do not look like us. I have found myself since joining my Black Women writing groups, in ways I absolutely knew I needed.
My whole life something was missing, and it’s largely because of the fact that I didn’t have any Black women to show me how to do my hair or makeup. It’s because I didn’t have Black women to teach me how to navigate racism and homophobia. I didn’t have Black women to teach me that I am special and powerful.
I had my mom, but my mom is White and try as she might, she just doesn’t see the world through the same glasses that I do.
I love my mom because from her I got my strength, I got my wisdom, I learned to see that I can accept myself as Black without ignoring that I am also white.
There are no buts there, my mother taught me how to be, but I miss the Aunties that my mother’s boyfriend provided when he was in our lives. That’s about all I miss.
I remember them trying to teach me to make rhubarb pie, I never learned because I just wanted to hang out with Babu and the boys, I wish I had taken the time to learn.
I wish they had had time or energy to teach me how to take care of my hair because as I got older, I started using products not meant for my hair, which left it dry and damaged.
I wish I had had other girls who looked like me to show me how to be myself before I was abused.
Now that I have Black women in my life, everything is different. I feel more confident because I know they think like I do, they see the world through the same mirror and they ask the same questions.
They wonder why their stories matter less, why their power is diminished for the sake of their White counterparts and they wonder when it is going to change.
Today I posted a tweet that said “If the Gatekeepers won’t let you through the door, build your own fucking door.” I am doing that with LMBG. I could go through the painstaking process of trying to get my book edited. I could go through the nightmarish process of trying to find a traditional publisher. I could do all of those things.
And the product that would be released into the world wouldn’t be mine anymore. It would be a watered-down version of who I am because it would have gone through the hands of half a dozen people before you ever read it.
My writing would be diminished in the editorial hands of a White person because my work is not designed for White women. I realize that now. It’s designed for the young fifteen to the eighteen-year-old girl who feels like their voice isn’t being heard.
It’s for the young twenty-something Black women surrounded by White men who don’t understand that we have different needs.
Black women are not a fucking accessory, and I spent most of my twenties feeling exactly like that. Always doing and saying stupid shit to try and fit in, when I didn’t even really like the people I was spending time with. Not because they were bad people, but because they were fucking miserable people who were cranky all the time. Much like myself.
I found a group of people who were angry, sad, poor, disenfranchised and called them family because I had no one else, and now that I sit here thinking about all the time and money I wasted on them I realize that I am perfectly okay with never seeing them again.
I am exhausted of those people, and I hope above all else that the people they were when I knew them, is not who they are today. I want to meet the new versions of my old friends, I want us all to follow our dreams and be happy wherever those dreams lead us.
I just don’t intend to surround myself with White men again and expect that I am going to be safe, because I have learned too many times that this is never the case.
White men specifically tend to see Black women as a prize, something to be earned and won, hunted, and beaten into submission. If not literally then definitely figuratively.
I am tired of White men telling me to be less of myself in order to have my voice heard. I am tired of being less of myself when I see something wrong that I can fix to lift up other people. And I am really exhausted of people pretending that my truth isn’t real because it’s uncomfortable for them to admit that it might e.
I feel this uprising in Black women around the world, with every new one that I meet.
It feels like Black women are starting to wake up to the idea that they have a power all their own that cannot be harnessed by another Master. It feels like Black women are starting to come out from the shadows to share their voice with the world.
I feel like Black women are starting to wake up to the idea that they can do things on their own without asking for permission and that feels absolutely wonderful.
Now that I am an Author, (ha ha ha holy shit), it feels like I am genuinely adding my voice to the table, and no one can take my chair away because I have a published book coming out.
It’s exciting and thrilling to see this process unfold, in hopes that some of those people will come back into my life one day so that I can show them what I have learned so that I can learn what they have learned.
But I am okay if they don’t. I am in this new place now where I don’t really want to go backward. The dreams I had yesterday are not the dreams that I have today, and it doesn’t feel like a failure. It feels like growth, it feels like I realized that the things I wanted came at the influence of people who didn’t really care if I lived or died.
Now that I have had time to really think about what “Devon” wants, without caring what other people think I should want, I realize that what I really need is more Black women in my life. I am thirsty for their knowledge, experience, wisdom, and stories.
I am desperate to have friends who can take one look at a Facebook message and know that I need to talk, who know they don’t necessarily have the words, but they absolutely have the time.
I need friends who are going to lift me up…I’ve never really had that before. I’ve had friends who strip by strip tore me down in order to make themselves feel comfortable, and that’s not I realize today, real friendship.
I am learning to use my words over my violence, but I also understand that sometimes violence is absolutely called for when there are no other options. I never want to have to experience violence in any way shape or form ever again.
Statistically speaking, that’s probably not going to be my reality. By the sheer nature of the color of my skin, I am statistically at least, expected to die a lot sooner than my Whtie counterparts. More than likely at the hands of a former abuser.
This is the reality that I have had to come to terms with, I would like to live in a world where that is not the case, however.
I would like to live in a world where Black women remember where they come from, and remember what that means.
I would like to live in a world where my future daughters never have to worry about dying or being raped or brutalized because of the color of their skin.
I believe that this world is entirely possible if we stand together. If we demand our worth, if we live as though we matter because we are human. If we stand up for each other at the tables.
I feel like this fire is slow-burning but burning none the less. The possibilities of what we’re able to do now are absolutely endless. We can do this. We can make room for each other in the world, we just have to decide that that’s the world we want.
If you have a blog, website, or business please leave the link in the comments so that my readers can check you out.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall