I sit and I wonder, does my Blackness make me fade into the background of my identity? It defines me in so many ways that I often find myself feeling fractured. To be Black comes with so many stereotypes of inferiority that I spend my days foraging hidden histories in the back of history books, and even though I know these distorted labels do not come close to representing my beauty, brains, or beliefs, I still drag the shackles that rests slanted on my ankles as it scratches down to my brittle bone.
Colourism clouds Their judgement. It offers me no safe space to let go and truly breathe. There has been times were I have I had the richest shade of Black skin in a room, and I know that although I stick out as the token Black person of the employment quota, my reflection peering back at me always offers a glimmer of hope in the windows even with the despair in the Hazel eyes of my fairer counterparts haunts me.
The passive aggressive tones and microagressions made by misogynistic men and threatened women takes its toll on me; making more space for my saboteur to dig its nails deeper into my flesh and thoughts. Pushing me under its fists that graduated from ivory towers and protected by systems built in its honour; whilst casting internal blows that till this day I struggle to shake off.
To be lighter, to have privilege are all things the younger me would have consider to be the dream. The thing that make Britain Great. The way it would feel. The way I would be treated by others. To be accepted by Them based on my intellect rather than their preconceptions of my supposed hyper-sexual prowess. Would this be peace???
My abilities are often deemed insufficient, unless it comes with sweat stained with blood and tears crystallised into rocks of salt. I find myself questioning my intelligence, my eloquence in articulating the way I feel, think, the way I see myself, they way I show up in this world that leaves its door ajar long enough to highlight the treasures that are branded ‘not mine!’. But deep down in me, through the maternal lines of my family, I know I am better than this.
Yet my Blackness still makes me visible, but in all the ways that disrupt my inner peace, and not in the ways I deserve. Invisibility is portrayed as a super power until you realise that it has been forced upon you. No consent required to not exist. You just don’t, unless They believe it to be necessary. My full lips form whole I AM BLACK, I AM PROUD I AM HERE, only to be met with palms of hands that do not come together in pray but in ignorant persecution.
This leads me to think that I am not myself when I am myself and without myself when I need myself the most. Never feeling settled in the realities of my own skin, in my own home, in my own country. In my own. Assimilating to what detriment to myself. To what end. To what conclusion. I am yet to define this part of my story.
To be continued…