Growing up, I was ashamed to be black. I was awkward and guys never looked my way, so I immediately blamed everything I went through on my appearance. The light skinned girls seemed perfect. They were extroverted, were featured in all the music videos, had long hair that they didn’t have to cover with a cap when they took a shower, and always seemed well put together. I felt this way from elementary through high school. It wasn’t until college that I realized how toxic my previous surroundings were. As I began to take my website more seriously, I started meeting individuals who were creative just like me, but I still felt alone; and though they were of all different shades, I still felt like my skin color was a problem.
However, after attending Radical Black Girl’s Resist(D)ance: Under Construction event, I felt better; and it wasn’t like a temporary feeling. It was a feeling of wanting to accept myself for who I was and focus on my own journey instead of everyone else’s.
At the beginning of the event, I sat down with Jessicah Pierre of Queens Co., Des Polk aka Radical Black Girl, and a few other ladies for an open forum to talk about what we were resisting and what we felt was holding us back. I took the opportunity to open up about my depression and how this was the first event I’ve been to in over a month (it’s really been like five, to be honest). But, after hearing everyone else’s testimonies, I realized that what I was going through was normal and for the first time, I didn’t feel ashamed. It was also then and there that I learned that I had to stop comparing myself to other people and just ‘be.’
Following the open forum, the live performances began. One performance that moved me the most was Sublime Luv’s poetry empowering The Black Woman. Referring to us as Gods, this helped affirm to me that my skin color was my power and it was nothing to be ashamed of. I almost started shedding tears (but, it also could’ve been the Henny and Red Bull I had earlier to loosen up). I ended up running to the bathroom right before Des’ started her poem but luckily got to see her electrifying dance performance alongside Lady Ice, as well as her moving performance with Eddie Brimage.
I could go on about the dances and artist I saw shut down the stage, but this post would never end.
Des, thank you for inviting me to this event and making me feel like I belong in a room full of fellow innovators, leaders, and creatives.
What does it mean to under construction?
So, I think I can finally answer this question. To me, being under construction means putting broken pieces of yourself back together. When something is first under construction, all outsiders see is a big piece of rubble that they don’t think can be put together in the time frame allotted. Yet, when they see the finished product, they can’t wait to experience what’s inside. No one cares about the process but is all over the finished product. So just like the construction workers, I’m going to take out all the pieces that don’t matter and spend time in my process. I’m going to make sure to take my time, hold myself accountable, and pour into myself until the finished product is everything I want it to be.
Song: Styles P – I’m Black
[I do not own this song]