No one will say it but the truth is those primary school jokes about being dark skinned really shaped how we saw ourselves.
Back then there wasn’t even a nice word for it. You weren’t dark skinned. There was no #melanin. You were just black.. period. And being black meant being ugly.
So you sat there and laughed with the people that made jokes about YOUR skin. You had to laugh, any other emotion would be considered overreacting. God forbid they saw you cry about, you know..being black.
It became automatic, you would anticipate those jokes, brace yourself, put a brave face on, then laugh, smile and wave it off.
That’s where I learned to fake laughs and smiles.
Some days you couldn’t take it. You couldn’t hold it, you would bite back. Throw sarcasm in people’s faces. Acid rolled off your tongue. Savage before savage was a thing.
That’s where I learned to be defensive.
You think we were born angry black girls?
I was too young to understand that I hadn’t done anything wrong. In my subconscious, I would reason, why do you spend so much time in the sun? Why were you born so damn black?
Back then us black girls weren’t candidates for wearing sunscreen, our black skin didn’t need any protecting. Back then when we went on school trips; “they couldn’t see us in the dark.” Back then we were as “black as shoe polish” etcetera etcetera. *rolls eyes*
Poor black girl, with your black skin, big forehead, big nose, big lips, big butt, big hips. Poor. Black. Girl.
At some point being nice wore off. I had to be mean, I had to spit fire at people that would come at me and my black skin. I went through high school with a gun in my mouth. When I was mad you didn’t have to feel it, you could hear it. There were a whole lot of pent up black girl problems. I was defensive. I was on edge always walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the fact that I was black.
But that was yesterday. Today us black girls are radiant. In case you missed that, I said; us black girls are radiant. We shine. We don’t need social media to tell us that, we don’t need pictures of glowing skin and “hashtag melanin queens” to know that. Deep down inside us we are radiant, that’s how we managed to get through. That’s how we coped. That’s the secret of our black girl magic.
Make no mistake, we don’t need sympathy or fake love. We appreciate ourselves. Our black selves. Thank you.
💫 image featured doesn’t belong to me 💫