What does being black mean to you? Is this a question you can answer with ease? Asking myself this a few years ago would of been really awkward. I actually wouldn’t of even thought of it. Being black was just a skin colour, nothing more. Because everyone is the same right? Its crazy to think that I thought like that, that some people still think like that. Now ask the present me this question, the one typing right now.
Being black means the world, its everything, blackness is what makes me. For me, being black is life. I think black , I move black, I breath black, I eat black, I f**k black. Being black is all me. I view life through a lens made for little black girls just like me. But what does being black mean? A lot of people think they know what it means. “It means seasoning your food.” “It means clapping to the beat.” “It means being LIT” All of those things are true, yes, *insert laughing emoji* but being black is more. It sets you up to live a different life than people of other races. You see things in a different way, in ways that effect not only your life, but the people in it.
Apart from being a woman, being black is the most important thing to me. When I say important, I mean I wouldn’t be me without blackness and my culture. Coming from a Caribbean/ Black American household, has set me up to think a certain way and has shaped my outlook on life. The same goes for anyone else. OK let me use a example. Maybe you grew up in a traditional Nigerian household, your outlook on life is shaped from that, even if you know it or not. Blackness and culture penetrates your life from the minute you are born. This is something to be proud of.
Disagree? Comment below and enlighten me.
*Actually while writing this, a friend disagreed. Saying, being raised in a African home, means nothing if your raised with the same ideologies and religions as someone from another race. Interesting… and true. Let me know what you think.*
Is being proud to be black really that important? Yes the answer yes.
Black is the essence, the source, the beginning; The foundation of life itself. Black is beautiful, black is bold, a symbol of fertility and wealth.
Black is science, math, astronomy an intricate understanding of nature, based on Love. Black is the all encompassing universe, the great womb that gave birth to the stars up above.
Black is limitless, as our perception would be, if only we would take some time out and just read. We Charted the stars on Papyrus Leaves, but now we think 50 shades is so deep.
Black is what I see when I sleep, rejuvenation, brings me back to my peak.
Black is the flow of the rhythm in my feet, the inspiration for the infinite drumbeat.
The community from Africa, to the brothers & sisters in the offices looking neat.
Being black makes us the fathers and mothers of humanity
The creators of culture, connected to the creator through spirituality.
Beauty and Power, the essence of duality.
Black is self determination !
The very standard of beauty.
Standing Tall Throughout Time.
Black is just Divine ! – King Ess
For me, being black means I’m part of a community and not just any community but one that’s starting to realise how much they’re worth. Society and the media has made me feel that beauty only exists if you’ve got white skin. The rare times that they have black people in the media, they ensure that they are as light as possible. Years and years of this made me grow thinking that being paler or being at least lighter in skin colour would make me feel more socially accepted. However recenlty, due to friends and the influence of social media that has been promoting our culture and beliefs and educating me on our background. From this, not only have I learned more about myself but I know feel empowered and proud of who I am and my skin colour.- Queen Rhian
To me, being black means culture; culture and tradition
s that have been passed down through ancestries and will never die. Being black means struggle; struggle shown through generations fighting for equality, for freedom, for respect. Being black means empowerment – not having everything handed to you and earning you success. To me, black means everything.-Queen Hajara
To me, being black means being unique. Unique in the sense that it’s something that people are curious about. I see myself as being the product of two cultures and having two countries to call home. England and Sierra Leone.
Being black in Britain means that the two countries go hand in hand. People always ask “…where are you from?” When I reply with “London”, it turns out that that isn’t what they were really asking about, so they respond with “…No. I meant where your parents are from?” So I acknowledge that I was born in England, but have Sierra Leonean descent, as my parents were born there.
Being black also means that people are curious about my unique and extremely versatile hair! I can do anything I want with my hair, when I want. Having an afro means that if I am keeping it in its natural state, I can have it curly or have it straight. If I want to experiment with different colours or length, I can have my afro braided or weaved at no detriment to my own hair (if the
hair is looked after properly).
To me, being black in Britain is something that makes me stand out. Sometimes this can be seen as a bad thing, but really I think that being black is something to be embraced. Paradoxically we live in a world where having some colour is both frowned upon and glorified. People of colour use lightening creams to become fairer. At the same time, there are others who spend hours tanning or spending a small fortune on creams to make themselves have that brown glow that those with a little bit of melanin are trying to remove.-Queen Imani