Be Encouraged

To all the beautiful black girls staring at 30 Who don’t know what they’re doing, or what to get worked up about There is nothing wrong with you I promise… You are not too picky, too ugly, too bright, too happy, too independent, too educated Nah, you’re just right. Don’t worry about changing your hair, … Continue reading Be Encouraged

Identity Politics and the Literacy of Self

 

I began writing this essay in 2014, but I couldn’t finish it. Then once I finished it, I just couldn’t publish it. So I’ve decided that I would abridge one of the most personal essays I have ever written. It is 2,000 words long in its entirety, and exposes parts of me that perhaps some of my closest friends have yet to see.

For the past five years I have encountered an incredible journey of discovery, honesty and faith. One that has given me many causes, and many battles. When I look at my younger self I see a young woman, lost, angry and confused. I felt illegitimate, unwanted and voiceless. I was constantly quietened, made fun of and told my opinion did not matter. In a number of spheres I was discredited and looked over. I felt faceless, unnoticed and often times helpless. I was given neither context, comfort nor armor for the various assaults or abuses I faced, or encountered second hand. Not to mention that my family did not discuss or entertain certain social or ethical issues. I don’t recall discussing anything of consequence. Perhaps out of politeness we avoided hard conversations about religion, politics, race and sexuality. Instead my education was confined to the halls and classrooms of my semi-private Catholic girls school. So in a lot of ways, and for a long time I was sheltered and micromanaged.I spent years feeling caged, boxed in and misunderstood. Now I understand why. Of course I’ve only obtained this window of clarity after encountering numerous struggles, experiences and people —outside of my comfort zone.

Continue reading “Identity Politics and the Literacy of Self”