Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My anger creates a fire

Never short of confidence but always full of insecurities. Because I am black and I am woman. And to be black and woman means to constantly fall in and out of love with yourself. It means that some days I feel good, some days I feel bad.

Many days I am angry but often quite glad. It is through Black feminism that I began to articulate and embrace the complexities of my humanity. It is through black feminism that I began to practice self-love more fully and more selfishly.

But the experience has been nothing short of painful. Once my eyes opened to the different ways I experienced violence in silence and ignorance, I felt compelled to speak out. I felt compelled to yell. Yell at anyone who actively decided to dehumanize me and ignore my existence. I became angry. Very angry.

But for this anger I am grateful. Because without this anger, I could not go on. My anger is valid and necessary. My anger compels me to relate, build, and rejoice with my black sisters. My anger made me love myself unapologetically and go where I am loved always. My anger led to me say no when I wanted to and yes when I needed to. My anger guides me in ways that my sadness and joy could not. My anger is grounded in love for black women because how such amazing human beings could be hated so much and treated so poorly. How could these women be so resilient with the little scrapes of the world? Making lemonade out of lemons.

When you are pushed to the margins of society, finding no place to feel safe, you create. You create authentic versions of yourself that shield you from society's projections of their insecurities and hate.

Black girls are magic because we have been pushed to create magic. When you find someone just as angry as you are in the world, you begin to create fire. Black girl juju.  Eerie but powerful. Fascinating yet frightening. Black girls are creating fires that everyone wants to see put out. But we are deserted and dehydrated, so more and more girls are catching on fire.

We are burning incest and roots and oils for our ancestors who speak through us. We are angry for our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and all the women who made fire between their palms. For all the women who found fire between their thighs and through the wave of their tongues. Their legacy will never die down as long as my anger is grounded in love. As long as I remember that love and anger are not opposites. As long as I am able to articulate and re-define my anger for myself, my anger will always be necessary. And even when I don't have the words, my actions or inaction will guide me.

I will go where I am loved. I will always remember the complexities of my humanity. I will always remember that while the love is minimal, it is ever-burning.

Fire emits light and heat and so our love and anger will emit light and heat. The light at the end of the journey is that black girls everywhere will one day know and embody freedom while the warmth and heat of love and sisterhood will reinforce and affirm this freedom.

My anger will free me, one day. Our anger will free us, some day. And all we will have left is a combustion of love. We will have the fuel to come together, the oxygen to breathe life in one another, and the energy to sustain one another.

Freedom