The World According to Humphrey

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Say it loud!

Posted by humphreysworld on February 21, 2012

I happened to engage in a back and forth with some chick on Twitter over a tweet that originated with another user. The tweet stated simply put, ‘Black woman, you are valuable, so act like it.’ Something which I very much agree with for many reasons. This follower, however, didn’t agree. In her words to say only that black women were valuable meant that ‘to exclude all women and focus on black women only continues our social problem of racism.’

To that claim I am calling utter bullshit.

Since when does loving my people translate into not appreciating or loving others? Being black is my identity. It is what others define me by and who I define myself by first. And it is for this reason that my love and appreciation of self is (or should be) supported by the love and appreciation of self from my community. Yet we are discouraged to do so. To be around each other in professional settings is something that not only gets noticed but is frowned upon, sometimes sadly from our own people. This brothers’ statement, and my support of that statement was seen as a form of self-oppression.

Did I mention this conversation was between another black woman?

Black people are continually told we are not good enough, pretty enough. Our hair’s too nappy, our nose is too big, our ass is too big, we’re too this, we’re too that. And when it continues to be reinforced from all angles conscious or unconsciously it continues to weigh on the mind and soul until we believe it ourselves and begin to devalue ourselves. To have pride in one’s ethnicity is not a matter of perpetuating racism, it’s a matter of self preservation.

It’s also a matter of celebration! I love my people. Period. I love our spirit, our skin, our hair, our determination, our truth. Does that mean I don’t love yours or anyone else’s? No. But to try and take that away from me (or you) is what continues to perpetuate the self loathing this girl was certain we were reinforcing by declaring love/value/appreciation for our own.

Last night a friend of mine stayed with me. He was too tired to drive and we fell asleep together (minds out of the gutter please, ahem). At one point during the night, the light from my window caught my attention of our two bodies laying close; different shades, different shapes, different people.  Both black, and both appreciative for the other for different reasons– all of them stemming from knowing the value we hold.

And that I will never be ashamed of.

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