I do not need you mistaking me for bodily discharge to know my worth – I know who I am without it. Over the last couple of weeks, I have had to unfortunate privilege of having to justify my personhood within my body due to racialized biases. And I must say, it hurts. There is little victory in having to justify the person underneath the skin, especially in a world where skin is continuously trying to tell you who I am.
My skin was equated to a pile of poop. I had to tell the authority who did it, why it hurt me because it was not seen on its own. As if suffering were not already so deeply engraved in my life and body, now I must account for why it was never okay. My personhood was assaulted and no one else felt the attack but me. So I spoke up. And in the teachable moment, the assault was viewed as a larger teachable moment where I was the victim and the hero, the model and the lesson, the lion and the lamb. I was then told, that I loved that moment in the spotlight.
“I loved that moment in the spotlight?”
Here’s the thing, in being both the hero and the victim, the glory is dampened by the blood. And is it glory when it only comes in the face of suffering? Theologically, yes. Paul is famous for saying that it is only in suffering that we may become the fullness and righteousness of God. But if that is the case- I would argue that I currently am the fullness and righteousness of God because my whole life in this body has been suffering. We can justify suffering all day: only in near death, only in oppression, only in being captive, and so forth. Those are valid. But my suffering, as a black woman in a society that is built in direct opposition to who I am and how I exist on this earth; my suffering comes in the form of constant violation. Violation of myself as a person, someone who lives and breaths on this earth and that being validated. Violation of my body as a woman if you are not XYZ, you are less of a woman. As a black, violation comes in being culturally homeless for enunciation, appearance, and behavior. And I must tell you, I am tired of being violated.
The constant feeling of questioning my worth in white space, in male space, in women’s space, in black space- is enough to drive a bitch mad.
Thus, I stand up for myself; I correct when I am offended and I say when I have had enough. I have had enough. And as I am speaking up, calling people out, and rejecting the dehumanizing, devaluing assaults that come my way; I am lonely and my shield is getting holes.
Consequently, I am suffering in silence, but in a way that I am my own heroine, not the world’s. I am not here for the world. I am not here for reconciliation. I am not here for you.
I am here for the other Carrington’s of the world. The black women who must constantly and continuously fight to be seen, respected, regarded, and loved for who they are- even if no one else…
I am here for her.