The so-called black man and woman formed from the foundation of earth can no longer be denied their beauty. Somedays I find myself wishing that I could slow down the business of life and play my people in slow motion, giving me time to indulge in the living art we call black people. The way we walk, speak, write, and laugh demonstrates our uniqueness daily. We could never give these qualities it’s complete due diligence when we seek out to describe it.
Though I speak with great zeal of the beauty of our people on this day, I remember when I was once less vocal of our exquisiteness. It becomes near impossible to see the beauty of a people when the beauty within yourself hasn’t been uncovered. I can vividly remember me looking in the mirror and not being confident in my cheeks, my nose, my lips, but more than anything my hair!
I always loved writing and poetry birthed that within me even more. There is a poem, “Lord, Lord, Why Did You Make Me Black?“, by RuNett Nia Ebo, that kept me questioning my negative perspective of my own image. The poem forced me to start seeing the positive in the creation of people, many deem lowly. In this poem, the poet asked why the creator chose to build them black. The question forces the reader to dwell on the view of the black people in society. These perceptions created self-hate within the group of people that were known by this byword, black. The poet urges an answer to why the need to give the big lips, broad nose, and kinky hair. As I read on, the questions hit home for me.
Kinky, nappy, African, and n***a hair are all words that were thrown around all of my life with my family. Yes, we may have laughed and joked about it, but I still am left with a heaviness the impact of the jokes left on me. I hated my hair.