Being a woman is hard. Being a Black woman is hella hard. As women, sometimes we have to fear for the safety of our person. As Black women we balance that fear with the knowledge that our Brown skins has been weaponized and we are responsible for the carnage in its wake. We understand and are socialized to this mortal imperative. Women must stay vigilant and on alert. We must protect our person from a scary world that may want to harm what they find vulnerable. Oh the energy needed to always be alert…
I’m exhausted. Being a mother of beautiful Black sons is the most rewarding and terrifying job I’ve ever had. It’s said, to be a mother is to live with your heart outside your chest.
Mother and son.
We are one.
We are ever connected by an ethereal tether supplying love and life to both our beings. I’ve multiplied and my person has expanded, my heart carries my heartbeat. The fear for my person has also multiplied and expanded.
It’s imperative I remain vigilant and alert of my person at all times, on guard and on standby for the persons that carry my heart.
My charge is important, this mission is life or death. Truth is there’s a frightening world that often seeks to attack or silence me because the unheard will always be vulnerable and worse invisible.
Im exhausted. I expend copious amounts of energy; mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally to protect my person, and the persons that carry my heart. I’m a human shield strategically placed to cover their vital organs of identity, efficacy, and affirmation until their rite of passage is complete.
While simultaneously shielding and building I mustn’t seem angry or out of place. I’m expected to excel professionally and personally because I’m “magical”. BLACK GIRL MAGIC!! It is a powerful gift and often my curse.
I must work!! I must be diligent in educating my sons about who they are, from whom they descend, to be polite, guide them, allow autonomy, require accountable, how to move slowly, not scare law enforcement, be mindful of anger in public, be strong but not a hero, please don’t look threatening. Remember our first rule “Make it home to mama, let me fight the battles”.
I’m exhausted. Just a little rest…No, I have no time. I must attend every protest, coordinate every boycott and temper my passion because the justified outrage of my oppression isn’t palatable.
My body and mind used as currency. Societal scabs and scars are the price of freedom, and the cost of living drags me hogtied behind its Ford pickup of Justice, Supremacy and American Way.
I’m exhausted, often broken or bruised. Diagnosed with the terminal disease Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, I’m dismissed for acknowledging my pain while being blamed for having it. I want to rest, but I can’t because I’m magic. I’m a STRONG BLACK WOMAN. It’s the heaviest and most debilitating symptom of my condition.
I’m exhausted, but I must remain vigilant and alert. It is necessary to be aware of my person at all times. I am on guard and at the ready for the persons that carry my heart. There’s a freighting and evil world waiting for us. Lurking constantly, attacking confidently because there is no justice for the invisible, expendable, and criminal.
I’m exhausted. To be African-American is to be African without the memories and American without the privileges. It’s to collectively live at war with the most basic of privileges; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
-A Dream Not Deferred
-The Tenth He Mentioned
-The Result of Fannie Being Sick and Tired
D. R. Daughters