Beyonce Giselle Knowles Carter is having her twins with her husband. She is the happily married wife and mother of three children. Ciara Wilson is having her baby with her husband, whom has taken on the responsibility of helping her to raise the son she had from a previous relationship. Let me explain why this bothers people.
Mary J. Bilge said in an interview before the 2007 Grammys, that there was, or there where too many people ‘selling pain’, and that people don’t sell joy at all or at the same rate. At this time, I was married to my first husband and pregnant with my first child. I was happily married. I had some intense romantic relationships, but I had not been so tethered to a past relationship or the canard that can come with it…until I got divorced.
It is most trite to hear people say “no one goes into any relationship, planning it to fail.” This adage is not just the beaten dead mule, it is the graveyard full of dead mules whom have been beaten, shot at, thrown from roofs and planes and hit by cars. They are exhausted…and exhausting. To this I offer only one retort: “I did as best as I could, until I had to do better.” There is no mule required. No mule available.
I left my husband because the situation demanded that I had to. There was no other recourse, because I had other people to consider…another life to consider. There is the dirty work of these types of breakups. People prop up, profit and press for, and pay for the pain you suffer. That abomination of sorrow and voyeurism: people want to see how you are to see how you are. They buy the magazines, the music and the stories to see how you are to see how you are. In that, you indeed see whom is more like you and in favor of the joy that is due you.
Beyonce is an successful, driven beautiful undeniably black woman. The world automatically thinks she is not due the happiness she found in the life that she made. Especially, to be black and ‘do that.’ It is easier, more tangible and palpable, for the world to see, and continue to define black women as these stoic, unpolished, bearers of pain, and heartsickness.
To see a happy black woman is an offense to the packaging spirit of whiteness, ‘polite society’ and the affront to the demand for complete personhood of black women aside from exotic fantasy and dark sexuality. She is owed happiness because she has demanded it, crafted it, and has made room for it–and asked no one for it. She never needed to.
Ciara is a woman whom I have been, and whom I have known. She has been a friend, co-worker, and my own reflection. I have been with a man that had no idea how to value me, love me, or speak to what divine I had no idea I housed or he could see. I have been with a man that told me he hated that I did anything that I was going to college, that my ‘education made me better’ than him. I have been the one that tried to fight for a situation that did not value me, add to me, and was an anchor to my heart. I have been the one to try and cover up, salvage…and lie. I have been her.
I have been disrespected, lied on and been told I was whore by the man whom helped me make the child he swore he loved. When I heard the gossip that rang like broken glass that ‘she had the baby to make Future mad’, I couldn’t laugh loud enough or roll my eyes hard enough. The missing component to this chaos is this: the sentient nature of love and the personhood of black women.
Ciara was disrespected, hurt and placed in the gutter with a man that wanted to see her continue to wilt and never fly. I cannot speak to the type of man he is as I do not know him (personally) but I have met and dated his representatives and clones. These type of people (not just men) fear being out of control or being left out. They love to acquire but have no idea how to maintain. They gather chaos, but embrace nothing of you. You find yourself contorting into a person unrecognizable for the sake or peace and sustaining of a relationship you are lost in. In that process of recovery, reconciling of removing yourself from all that was weighted toxic–you are found wholly beautiful again by someone that can see the divine you house.
I can only imagine the wrestling Ciara went through as to whether or not to accept the advances of another man–to allow another person into her world with the potential of devastating it. She had so decide if he was or would be worth the chatter she would hear when her name came up in public conversation or in private cursing with her ex. The world is not accustom to the power or grace and poise held by black women–when, sometimes, that is all we have.
Ciara had to decide to believe Russell…and there is where the story is retold.
She had to unlearn Future and all he meant to her.
She had to destroy the taped history he left in her head. She had to be bold enough to embrace Russell and what he promised her than hide behind what Future would never deliver and make Russell pay for it.
The world is enthralled with the strength of black women: our wit, our stares, even the steel we place in our backs. What is foreign is when we become more thunder than lightning. When that heat is melded and we are refined and redefined by what was mean to kill us. She chose to believe Russell and chose to be happy because as a woman whom had been hurt, she, too, deserved to be happy…no matter what people thought.
There will always be those whom determine the worth of women by their pain, their suffering and how silent they scream. What is not celebrated, is how they are forged to become better without apology. We whom survive and endure owe the world nothing but the benefit of knowing the storm did not drown, neither did its waters overtake. We survive because dying is meant to do only once–not at the behest of those whom never wanted you to live in the first place.