An Ode to Blackness

Because our Black is beautiful

An Ode to Blackness

Because our Black is beautiful

Photo by nappy from Pexels

Dear Beautiful Black People,

I want you to know we are some marvelous human beings, and I want you to know how much I love you. Every year, Black History Month is all about our legendary Black folks. The rich, the civil rights activists, our freedom fighters, the inventors, the freed slaves. Those people were once ordinary people just like you and I. Sometimes we get so busy looking at those who are on pedestals, we forget to look at ourselves. It’s okay to love our history and cherish our beloved history makers, but what about us?

It’s not often we’re simply loved for being. I want you to know it doesn’t matter to me whether you’re extraordinary or ordinary, it doesn’t matter. Your Black is beautiful, my loves.

Our kinks and coils. Our wide hips, thick thighs, and thick lips. Our dark skins that are never in. Long hair, that doesn’t care. Brothas with tattoos, and those brothas wearing old shoes. New clothes, or a pierced nose. Single mamas tolerating zero drama. Our Black is beautiful. We are perfectly imperfect.

We are the descendants of strong, courageous, intelligent Black people like Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, Ida B. Wells, Duke Ellington, Louis Latimer, Richard Allen, Shirley Chilsom, Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, Toni Morrison, Dr. Martin and Coretta Scott King, Crispus Attucks, Thurgood Marshall, Muhammad Ali, Mary McLeod Bethune, John Coltrane, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Charles Drew, W.E.B. DuBois, Bill Cosby, Marian Anderson, George Washington Carver, Ralph Bunch, and Dorothy Height. Our Black courage, strength, intellect, perseverance, and contributions to humanity are beautiful.

We are broken King’s English and southern fried catfish. We made the Blues and we got plenty of soul. We taught America to rock and we made her roll. We put the hip in hop. Our variations of Black are beautiful.

Whether we wear a scowl, or are forced to smile, our Black is beautiful.

Black men aren’t just one Black city’s crime rate, the death of a young black teen playing in a park, or the death of Black father selling loosies in front of a store. You’re strong Black fathers, our lovers, husbands, great granddads, good uncles, friends, community activists, coaches, fly brothas, creatives, artists, momma’s boys, daddy’s sons, and backbones of our families. Our Black is beautiful.

We’re trendsetters and injustice protesters. The bullshit smellers and storm quellers. We are givers of life in spite of this world’s strife. Our Black is always proud even when the world tells us we have nothing to be proud of. Often duplicated, always imitated.

Our Black is beautiful.

We are Black teachers, Black attorneys, Black physicians, Black nurses, Black carpenters, Black janitors, Black garbage men, Black landscapers, Black caters, Black pilots, Black bakers, Black painters, Black writers, Black scientists, Black chefs and cooks, Black maids, Black architects, Black sex workers, Black police, Black bus drivers, Black professional [fill in the blank], Black prosecutors, Black publishers, Black software developers, Black designers, Black professors, and Black valets.

We are Black pool cleaners, Black builders, Black Strippers, Black social workers, Black hair and makeup stylists, Black mail deliverers, Black bellmen, Black Amazon drivers, Black Walmart stockers, Black caretakers, Black train conductors, Black judges, Black directors, Black pizza drivers, Black barbers, Black homemakers, Black truck drivers, Black repairmen, and Black politicians.

Our Black is beautiful. Our Black is marvelous. Our Black is wonderful. We are exceptional. Our Black is timeless. We’ve endured, we’ve surpassed, and we’ll forge on.

We are undiscovered treasures. We’re diamonds. We’re kisses. We’re gold. We’re love. We’re peace. We’re good. We’re goddesses. We’re grace. We’re mercy. We’re complex. We’re resourceful. We’re courageous. We’re fearless. We’re riders. We’re smart. We’re funny. We’re queens. We’re kings, We’re passionate. We are relentless.

We’re God’s children. We’re compassionate. We are gracious. We’re caring. We’re worthy. We are kind. We’re human. We’re generous. We’re helpful. We’re talented. We’re strong. We’re exhausted. We’re afraid. We’re tired. We’re relentless. We are different, yet we are the same. Black lives do matter. We don’t stop. We can’t stop. We won’t stop. Because the world may stop.

Your Black is beautiful.

My Black is beautiful.

Our Black is beautiful.

This Black History Month, as we remember and commemorate our Black ancestors, let’s begin to love and cherish ourselves as well. We’ve come along way, and we helped to get us this far. There are many ordinary Black people working hard every single day to move us forward collectively. There is no fanfare to acknowledge those accomplishments, and that’s okay. If we think our best times are behind us, we may stop fighting to move us forward collectively. Let’s not forget our past. Let’s not forget ourselves. Let’s not forget our future either.

Our Black is important. Our Black is magnificent. Our Black is complex. Our Black is beautiful, and I love every single bit of it.

Happy Black History Month!