My mother got nervous when I told her I was pushing forward with my activism. She told me that is not what a black women with children should be doing. She was worried about my welfare, my children and what would happen if I were to be arrested. Moreover, she was distressed if I were to be arrested and my career halted or staled or would end–because St. Louis (you super have to live here to understand). However, I found my niche, and I’m still working in it. Writing is only a snippet of it.
There is a pulse going through my generation and those that are coming after me that has electrified all the black girl magic in the melanin cauldron. All the things that were whispered about during holiday dinners and rumored family lore, we are taking action on. We are no longer silent like our mothers may have had to be to keep peace and placement. We are no longer silent like our grandmothers may have been because they didn’t know what to do, and no relief avenues were open to them.
We are shedding the cocoon of what it means to be black and woman. We are redefining ourselves, embracing the personhood the women before us couldn’t be afforded–because black women were less than, who taught their daughters to be more than to get what women and men not born of the sun sup and take for granted. We are in a place where we will no longer suffer in silence, and shatter windows of the boxes which encase us.
The new black girls are concerned about mental health, police brutality, black lives mattering, and the need for self-care. We understand that the burden of our mothers and foremothers is ours to share, but not ours to bear. For so long, being black and woman is to be associated with trauma, solitude and pain. That is now being confronted so healing may begin, and continue to make history.
Since the first mothers of the daughters of the sun were stolen and brought to twice stolen lands known now as America, we have been instructed in what to be, in order that we may become perhaps what they were not. The prayers in languages unknown to us now, and remembered later in the eyes of our mothers, we see their strength given to us to go change every piece of the world we touch.
With all the change which we have read, heard of, we now become catalysts. We are able to glean from what it is, what was, and what must be. History is what compels us, the future is what awaits us, and we are tired of being told, “Wait. Not now.”
Our retort is, “Wait? Not now!” As my father would say, “You believe in the hereafter? Then you know what I’m hereafter.”