“Ni**er”, was the word that spewed out of her mouth like a sharp dagger towards me. I stood with a look of confusion on my face while all the other little girls around me gasped and stood in shock. As the word rang through the bathroom, we all stood as an indescribable emotion came over me. “Excuse me, what did you say?” I asked with an irritated tone. “I said ni**er, that’s what you are right?” This little girl said the word so freely and let it flow from her lips like it was just another word. This word was normal in her daily speech. This was my first encounter with racism. I was the tender age of 5. I was unsure how to process this disgusting behavior and speech from another human being the same age as myself. The little girls around me were all white, I was the only little Black girl. Small little brown girl with long curly hair and big brown eyes. My mother sent me to a private Chrisitan school which was predominantly White. My mother sacrificed for me and my sister to get a good foundation and education. I knew my skin color was different from my friends and my schoolmates, but it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t a big deal until this word full of hatred crashed down into my world. The little White girls around me knew the word was wrong and they had never used such language. I told my teacher the best way I knew how; she was also White. There was not a Black teacher insight at my private school. I tried to articulate the best way I could to my mother that day. Even now I can remember the shock on everyone’s faces when I had to repeat what was said to me. If I remember clearly, the girl was expelled from school, but, on top of her not knowing how to speak to others, she was also a terrible little human being and a trouble maker which had helped in her grand exit of preschool. Still being young, a slice of my innocence was chipped away and I was introduced to racism.
Throughout my years, there have been a lot of lessons learned on the topic of skin color. I can recall another time where I was leaving a food place with my sister. She had crossed the street before me and I ran across to catch up. From the window of a vehicle, “Hey, you Ni**er!” rang out loud through the bustle of the traffic and caught up to my 12-year-old ears. My head whipped around so quickly, and I just wanted to fight. I wanted that person in that car to just crash and get hurt so badly, so they could feel the pain and hurt I felt from the power of one word, two syllables. My sister wasn’t in earshot and hadn’t heard the offensive word, but I caught up to her and told her what that nasty person said to me. I rushed home and sat on my bed. My mother came into my room to check on me and, as I told her what was said to me, I fell into her arms and began to sob. I truly couldn't understand how this world progressed so far but its people were still in the segregated mindset. I knew right then and there that I would have to fight and work hard for everything just because of the color of my skin. It’s crazy that any person at any time thinks they can say anything they want. In my mind, secretly I wanted God to smite these people. It may seem cruel to think such a thing, but it was only a thought. True cruelty was the hateful word hurled at me for no reason.
I come from a mixed-race family. We are all shades of brown and black. My mother is African American and Native American. My father is Puerto Rican and Caucasian. From that mixture, my skin color is black. I come from a line of war heroes and army veterans, entrepreneurs, business owners, nurses, community leaders, city council board members, athletes, protesters, managers, teachers, radio personalities, the list goes on and on. I stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before and marched and protested, have been abused, beaten, dog bitten, and who fought just for EQUALITY alone. It is such an indescribable feeling when someone thinks or considers you lower than the worms in the ground just because of the color of your skin.
In this climate of the world today, every news story is “breaking news” of another death of an African American or a minority at the hands of the police, both male and female. It is modern-day lynching, but there is never quick justice or justice at all because of the high statuses, badges, robes, and gavels protect the monstrous people who perpetrate these atrocious crimes. Why does my skin color scare you? Why is my skin color such a threat? Why am I seen as a leper? This skin color holds so much weight. It holds the weight of the days of segregation that my great grandmother endured. It holds the weight of my great grandfather in WWII. It holds the weight of injustice my ancestors were subjected to, the ones who were denied access to a store just because of the color of their skin. My skin color holds the weight of every black male in my family pulled over just because they were simply DWB (driving while Black). My skin color holds the weight of every black female in my family who was called out of their name and given lower pay in the workplace just because 1) they were female and 2) they were black. My skin color holds the weight of my great grandmother while keeping her dignity and pride kneeling to clean Whites’ houses just to make a living to support her family. My skin color holds the weight of every person in my family who has ever been called a racial slur. My skin color holds the weight of every one of my family members who marched and fought for their freedom as a human being!
My skin color comes with a lot of weight, hurt, anger, and pain, but it also comes with STRENGTH. My skin color comes with POWER. My skin color comes with GRACE, grace that holds back my fists and beatings from racists people because I was taught to fight smart and use my mind and words. My skin color is ROYALTY. The school books don’t tell us that we were kings and queens before we were taken as someone's slaves and paraded as property. It is time to get back in our place and take our power back! My skin color is BEAUTIFUL, BREATHTAKING, BOMB, AND OH SO LIT!
I’m tired of the hashtags. Human lives are not hashtags. They are living, breathing bodies with souls. Innocent lives have been taken because of hatred and skin color. I’m sick of hashtags. Just make the statement and make it plain! These lives that were taken are more than hashtags, more than just a creative quote. More than just vigils and pictures on a t-shirt, more than signs with their names on them hoisted high in the air. They were mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, uncles, and so much more! They were souls that had every right to be on this earth and walk out their God-given purpose. The moments of their last breaths were a phone recording held by a bystander that either couldn’t help because of the police or didn’t want to help. Their last moments on this earth were staring down the barrel of an officer's gun. Their last moments on earth were them playing with toys or taking a jog then being hunted down and executed by a gun held by a racist being. Their last moments on this earth were them sleeping in their own beds or walking home with tea and Skittles coming from the store and being gunned down. Their last breaths were taken by the hands of police officers and hateful people. They left this world prematurely because of hate.
Stand up for injustice. Your voice, your thoughts, your place in this world matters! Your skin color MATTERS! Justice needs to be served, and just like Morgan stated in her video, the Christian community should NOT be silent. Be active and get involved! Let your voice be heard! Enough is enough! Black Lives Will Always Matter! But “matter” is the minimum. Black lives are worthy. Black lives are beloved. Black lives are needed.
Jesus hears each and every one of His children. He is close to the broken-hearted. He has captured every tear in His mighty hands and has collected them. He hears the prayers and cries of His name. Even the whispered prayers He hears. He can not ignore the cries of His children! He made every color in this world and every color is precious in His sight! Your black, brown, or tan is beautiful!
Being Black is not a phase or a trend, it is a race. A human race. Psalms 139:14 states “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Despite what anyone says, God has created us with such beauty and uniqueness. Our hair defies gravity and our skin absorbs the sun. As Black women and men, we are meant to do great works in this world! Start the business, walk in the march, stand up for injustice, own houses, and land, build families, farms, create generational wealth, be creative artists, entertainers, have corporate jobs, be the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, buy stocks, anything you can think of. We are supposed to be right in the middle of it all. Whatever your dream may be, go for it! If you’re scared, do it shaking and trembling. That doesn’t matter just as long as you're moving towards your goal!
It’s with great joy and sadness that I will no longer be serving in HDC. I am stepping out in faith to begin my own business and do what God has called me to do. I have had a great journey with HDC. I never thought it would come to an end. Morgan has become a great friend and a sister. I thank you all in the HDC ministry. Y'all have welcomed me with open arms. I may not be serving as I was in the ministry, but just know I am still around. This new journey God has me on is one He has been calling me to. I, as a Black woman, am going to have my own business and flourish into this new season. I was able to start serving as the prayer leader and then was promoted to ministry director. I thank you all and I love you all! Just know I’m around and will continue to pray for you all. God is in the business of elevation. Stop writing your dreams and begin to live them!
This blog was supposed to be about undergarments but I just couldn’t sit down and write a blog about that with everything that is going on in this world at this time.