Sometimes I’m at a loss for words when I contemplate the world our children face.
Sometimes I’m at a loss for words when I consider the realities of raising Black children in a world where their image and likeness once idolized and adored has become the source of scorn and sorrow.
Being a Black adult is a trip – few of the subtleties of racism and the backhanded compliments are rarely lost to us…I’ve become immune to the “you’d be pretty with straight hair…” and the implications of “you got light eyes…”. I feel sick and in those moments wish I could swallow a melanin pill and turn myself Blacker than midnight with wilder and woolier hair – maybe even like Medusa with snakes releasing venom into the heart of those who don’t know the Beauty of my people in all of our glorious shades….
But being a Black kid?
Having to constantly PROVE that you “want” to learn, that you “aren’t like” the prevailing stereotypes…
Being a little brown girl and seeing that the other brown girls who are SUPPOSED to represent you look NOTHING like you.
Oh where or where have all the brown girls gone oh where. oh where could they be?
I think I first realized it when I saw the “Living Single” billboards. I KNOW that the sistahs (Joan and em) represented the diversity of Black: from mocha latte to lovely chocolate…. yet I remember slamming my breaks, and going back around the corner when I looked up and saw the advertisement. Staring down at me was a group of women, all the same muted, palest shade of beige… As yellow as I’ve been called, I was offended.
And it has continued…the women and girls becoming lighter and lighter and lighter…leaving me to wonder : oh where or where have all the Black girls gone, oh where oh where can they be…
There are a few these days I’ll see, but certainly not enough to inspire our young daughters and sisters and nieces to look in the mirror and REVEL.
Not enough for our sons to proclaim Black is beautiful: from red bone to midnight…Black is BEAUTIFUL.
SO we must. By embracing ourselves and Each Other.
4 thoughts on “Black Girl Pain…”
That’s one of my favorite tracks off of “Beautiful Struggle…”
It can be hard to raise black children; raising black girls indeed comes with its own set of issues.
What can I say…I have a lot of black girl pain. How do I not pass it on to my children, especially my daughter? I really don’t know.
This is so interesting…
My son was born to a caramel mama and a dark chocolate papa and he is the color of cafe au lait.
Yet, early on, he identified with the brown characters he saw on TV. He knew he was just as Black as they were. Despite having skin color closer to the White characters he’d see, he always saw himsels in the darker characters.
Maybe he saw himself as related to us and identified that way.
We do our best to instill him with pride in his Black beauty, regardless of shade. I fear he will face the issues many of our lighter sisters and brothers have faced in the community. We cannot deny they’ve had their share… often having their Blackness questioned and feeling compelled to over compensate.
As parents, we just do the best we can to counter the misrepresentation of our people in the media. We have to learn from our own pain and keep pressing on, doing our best to not pass it onto them.
When people see my children, they often think they have at least one white parent. Their hair is curly, yet not nappy. They are light-skinned, yet I think brown. I’ve gotten all kinds of comments about their “good hair,” about how beautiful they are, which are suspiciously given, I think, because of their skin color. What do you say? “No, they are not”? It’s awkward.