The thing I don’t want you to know about me is that for most of my adult life I have not felt “black enough”. From the fact that growing up I would rather read a book than go out to parties to my insane love of all things musical, I always felt like the weird black girl who never fit in anywhere.
But the need to belong is strong. It is wired into our DNA. So, when I began spending time in predominantly white spaces and people started saying like “you’re not really black Makeda” or “you’re not like most Black people Makeda”, it was easy for me to allow my blackness to be erased.
I white-washed my blackness for the sake of fitting in and finding belonging.
Over time though my soul could not tolerate the erasure and I began reclaiming myself as a Black woman. It started when I decided to go back to my natural hair. It was further solidified when I chose to center my Blackness FIRST and decenter the white gaze. It’s been an extraordinary journey of coming back home to myself.
I firmly believe that transformation is an inside out process. But sometimes liberation begins on the outside. After all, it’s the changing of its outer experience that allows the caterpillar to transform into a magnificent butterfly.
And the wonder of the butterfly lies not simply in its external beauty but in its inner strength. For, I recently learned, the butterfly is the only creature that can go through a storm and not waver or be shaken by the storm due to that inner resiliency.
Today, and every day, I celebrate my resiliency, my tenacity, and my capacity to keep rising. I revel in the unique wonder I am in all my melanin laced magic. I am proudly reclaiming my #blackgirlmagic
From my heart to yours,