I don’t celebrate Black History Month. I don’t find it necessary and I don’t find it appealing. I’m not a person who will be pigeon-holed into a category or a box, nor will I allow my Blackness to be defined by 28 days in the winter. (29 in a leap year)
I am a Black woman 24/7/365(6). I raise a Black son 24/7/365(6). I love a Black Man 24/7/365(6). There is never a time that I am not Black, just as there is never a time when I am not reminded that I am not Black. I am Black History walking and talking and breathing and creating.
Writing Vizionz creates Black History. Heading out to the supermarket to make a dollar out of 15 cents creates Black History. I am more than Sojourner Truth and Henry T. Sampson. I am more than Barack Obama and Neil Degrasse Tyson. I am just as much as Tyler Perry, and NeNe Leakes and Tami Roman. I am all that is great about being Black, all that is terrible about being Black and all that rests between the line on those opposites.
I am ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. I am meek and ferocious at the same time.
Black is exceptional.
Black is also, or at least one day I hope to see, Black being. No that was not a typo, at some point in my life I hope to just be, without all of the added pressure and admiration that comes with the being of being Black.
I look at Barack Obama, and understand that were his name John Smith, and if he had less melanin in his skin, we would not consider him exceptional. We would allow history to determine his place among the greats, and our great-grandchildren would read about the Affordable Care Act in a textbook one day.
We must instead always look at Barack Obama and say: he is Black and he is the first.
I was born and raised in this nation. I was born at a time of freedom and opportunity. I have not been forced to fight in the manner my mother, and her mother before were forced to fight.
I am a child of privilege, burdened with the skin color of denial.
I don’t address that much here at Vizionz because I have to address it every moment, of every day, and I never get respite care.
I never get to simply exist, but I am required to subdue.
Fuck being green, it ain’t easy being Black.
Yet I love my Black skin, and the Black skin of those who are similar to me.
Yet I love my Black hair, and the Black hair of those who are similar to me.
Yet I love that we are both the poorest of the poor, and the richest of the rich, and the hardest of the hard-working.
I love that on a Sunday in October I can turn on the television and see Black men of all shapes and sizes (even if that size is usually extra-large) being the best of the best.
I hate that on any other day of the week I have to scour through all 57 channels with nothing on to find a face that looks like my own.
I love that Tyler Perry is the most powerful man in Hollywood, while I hate that Madea exists.
I love that I can take out my brown crayon and color the world in front of me, while understanding that there is an obscene amount of White heterosexual male that needs to be colored.
I listen to my non Black friends complain that I teach separatism and hate, as I attempt to explain that it is a Black thing and you really and truly can NOT understand.
Being Black and being proud is who I am, and trying to define it in 28 days is frankly beyond my pay grade.
I can leave that fight to others, and I will because others are much more capable.