I stand 5 feet 10 inches tall to the average eye. However, people don’t see how tall I really am because of whose shoulders I stand on. I am the product and fruit centuries old and long suffering, like most people of color in this nation are. We are giants because we remember we stand on shoulders, palms and backs. We remember from whose wombs and love and strength we descend. We remember that we make history on a daily basis. As a black women walking through the world fixating on the hatred me and all mine, it is important that I be tall.
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, women making history is only beginning. What I am most encouraged about is the generation coming behind which have seen glimpses of what is to be young, gifted and black. I am encouraged and impressed with the ideal of what it is to be a black girl is or could be. I am encouraged and thrilled that black women are becoming more of ourselves than perhaps our mothers’ generation where allowed. There is this freedom to this female blackness happening now that can only be considered as divine.
Black women have no choice other than to be great! We need only look back one generation to see the potential we house. We can look no further than our own family to see what can be done and what baton needs to be run with.
First to graduate college.
First to get a graduate degree.
First to move out of state. Run for office. Even the first to vote!
We make history, because we believe we can, we shall, and will.
Mother Oracle Nikki Giovanni says, “If the black woman wasn’t born, she would have to be invented.” We make history because our pasts compel us. Indeed we are the hope and the dream of the slave. We have the indomitable nature which serves as a map to do what needs to be done in spite of opposition. When we see further help is needed, we equip those coming behind us, with swifter feet and fresh eyes to take over!
I am tall because I know on whose shoulders I stand! I embrace my own journey and am grateful for the path of women whom chose as they did to make sure one such as myself would come! I am tall because I know I cannot do this, all this, any of this, alone. I have no been so smart, competent or competitive to break barriers and bust up walls and evil policy myself.
There is a mystery in my history.
There are these nameless women, stolen, beaten and suffering, whom I have only seen or will hear of in an ancestral plain, whom I will never see. There are women whom believed enough in God to allow me to do so as well–in that same preservation of faith, I have not been consumed.
I am tall because I am not alone…and history is made for me, with me, and after me. I shall remain tall.