There are days I’d like to take off being a Black woman. It’s those days when I want to forget that I sometimes wake up and check my phone just to see what I need to be mad about that day.
There are days when the steady flow of information about Black women – unattractive, in debt, obese, unmarried, unlikeable, angry, rachet and superficial is just too much to take. There are days when the endless debate between Black men and women about who supports more, who gives more, who suffers more, is unbearable.
There are days when I want to take off worrying about whether or not me or the another Black woman will be the next Sandra Bland, Lezley McSpadden, Sybrina Fulton or even Faith Green. There are the days when folks like Rachel Dolezal make me question whether or not there’s anything special about Black womanhood or is it just something that can be performed and discarded when it no longer suits your needs.
There are days when the idea that Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, Yara Shahidi, Halle Berry, Jurnee Smollett or the Mowry sisters should be excluded from Black womanhood because they have one white/non African-American parent is just too exhausting, especially when its other Black women that are perpetuating that nonsense.
But then, there the good days. The days that another Black woman comes to your rescue, your aid, or provides a shoulder for you to cry on because of something only another Black woman can truly understand. There are the days that you swell with pride because of the accomplishment of women you’d never even heard of before.
There are the days when you see another Black woman walking the streets with pride and confidence in an outfit whose alchemy is one only Rihanna could hope to duplicate. Then, of course, Rihanna, not just her fashion or her humor or her cute Bajan accent, or that she’s quietly backing a oncology clinic in her native Barbados, but that she exudes #Blackgirljoy and #Blackgirlmagic and seems humbled and grateful for her success.
There’s your mama, and your favorite cousin and your nieces and sisters, without whom your life would be so less rich, even though at a certain point, you’ve wanted to smack every one of them across the face (except Moms, cause as a Black mom, you’d not just be slapped back, but likely might be forced to dig your own grave in the aftermath).
There’s pregnant Beyoncè, putting the entire world on notice that Black women have always had to make lemons out of lemonade and in case you forgot, we are the mothers of civilization as well.
There’s Queen Latifah, who despite rumors about her sexuality has always kept her private life to herself while carrying herself as every Black woman should – with a self-placed figurative crown on her head and the chutzpah to name herself Queen before anyone could even question her royal lineage.
There are the legions of unnamed, unsung, unknown, unappreciated women whose very being makes yours better -whether its the barista at Starbucks who knows your drink, or the woman who cleans the trains you ride to work, or the one over the phone who cleared that overdraft fee, or gave you more time to pay that bill, or simply listened when you broke down explaining why you couldn’t pay that bill.
On those days and really every day, I’m proud to be among the dopest, most fabulous, most creative, most loving, most striving, most hilarious, most regal, most fabulously coiffed community of women on the planet. So to my sistahs worldwide, when you see me in the streets, at the airport, at the mall, just nod, like we do. Nod to my fabulousness, my resilience, my strength and beauty and I’ll nod to yours. It doesn’t have to be International Women’s Day. It can and should be everyday.
But don’t tell anyone. We’ll just keep it between us, OK? But we’ll know. Salute to all the queens, goddesses and fabulous Black women out there, cause queens recognize queens and I see y’all.
I see y’all.
PHOTOS: AP, except where indicated