Does. My. Blackness. Offend. You.

 

On a scale of one to ten, how black am I? Does that make me offend more or less?

If I am loud does it make me ghetto? If I like my hair in braids does it make me hood?

If I speak with a certain slang and added neck rotation does it automatically classify me as stupid? Or if my face doesn’t always have a plastered grin when anyone looks my way does it make me mean?

Why don’t I have the privilege to be me? Minus the crude negativity, surface assumptions, and ignorant conclusions.

Its like the whole world expects me to be calm and quiet, and accept all of its practices, absurdities and misconceptions. Because I’m black, I’m automatically misrepresented.

Because I’m black and female, I’m automatically disadvantaged.

I’m not allowed to be late, have bad hair days, speak grammatically correct English, be overanxious, have withdrawals, show any type of emotion, or voice any opinion about things I do not agree with.

My blackness is a type that’s all mine.

A candy-covered sweetness. An unpredictable aroma laced with diamond dust and red Kool-Aid. I am late, not because I’m black but because I didn’t prepare enough time. I wear braids and hats not because it is a trend or style but because it is a form of protection for my hair that traces back to my African roots. I speak with slang because it is an innovative language that my people have created and not because I am uneducated. I am overanxious and experience withdrawals  because it is a reflection of the struggles I experience daily not because I am rude. I show emotion and speak about things I do not agree with because it is my right as a citizen to say something about injustice not because I am an angry black girl.

My blackness is one-of-kind. One that is entwined with watermelon flavored cotton candies poked with fresh two-edged needles and laid out for the world to see. For the world to probe and create commentary adding to my already hectic life. Those darts aiming at my blackness, wishing to destroy and silence my blackness, desiring to alter my blackness for the sake of offence, can redirect the offended heart to the premise of oneness.

So if my blackness offends you… then consider the object of inclusion.

My blackness is my own. It doesn’t need a thing.

For the world to understand, is of utmost importance. Acceptance, even. But let’s start with first steps.

We Must Be One.