I was raised in New Rochelle and Yonkers, NY! Like so many little brown girls, I was surrounded by woman that were strong, no nonsense and resourceful. They sported a wrinkle brow of injustice and torn labias of misuse. I admired them! They reminded me to see bullshit coming and put my hands on my hips to cut its path. To slice a jive turkey with words before sense could be made. We, young girls, were programmed to get our point across first…apologize later…maybe. I was less than 5 feet tall then. Walking the projects with worn gear and armor I knew made me 7 ft. 2in. It was courageous to buff our breast plates with street war stains. Sharpen our wit with dirty jokes that made an old man blush. Rescue the day with beans and franks that gave an aroma on the 5th floor in City Park Projects reminiscing thoughts of grandmas stew. In my neighborhood…WOMEN became men that dressed like women, and could serve a busted lip.
I was taught to be harder than I wanted to be. At first, it worked for me. I carried that heavy across country and settled in California. I parlayed that notion that I’m resilent and capable…don’t fuck with me; it worked. I attracted passive people because I was enough aggression for 4 people. It began to make me misunderstood and controlling to spiritual chances. Thinking I had the answers to EVERYTHING made closed to miracles. Change is in order.
Nowadays, I’m exhausted and honestly feel like I have nothing to prove. I’ll never put down the women I admire that believe in this lifestyle they choose but for me, it doesn’t work any longer. My edge has dulled it’s intensity and I refuse to bark any longer. I’d like to treat my armor like an old knife I pull out my back pocket if I need it and surface it if a mutha really feels the need to try me…but really…those fighting days are fading fast.
I choose to laugh more. Listen to men with understanding and reverence. Soften my face with pleasant thoughts and bounce my booty when I walk because, I’ve earned the right to. I want to present myself as the team player not the one that always needs to be in charge. We have proven our capabilities now, we should encourage the world to watch our convictions grow. Pay attention to the soliders we have risen. Watch our actions and wait for our command. Give them a chance to miss our direction. The world needs us. I wish to pull back from the screen of blame and conditioning and stand firm in my PURPOSE as a beautiful black woman. Quietly (sometimes :0) assertively (always) so THEY are asking…”what’s her name?” Time to do! Not shout! At least….for me!