Black 365: Black American Reflections
My experience of my history, my heritage is not without struggle, but it does have many triumphs. Here are ways I reflected on Black History during February 2019:
Essays from my People:
There is a very distinct period in 2017 in which I read so many nonfiction essays and slowly got invested in reading more work by those in the black community. I released that it’s essential that I, one seek out black writers and storytellers as the documenters of our history and collected experience. Two, to understand that written narratives aren’t solely by white people. These two fundamental things set in motion a more significant academic change and realigned my cultural perspectives. Sure, it’s easy to read someone’s lovely essay on experiences with people of color from someone who isn’t a person of color. Those narratives over saturate the academic world and the internet. Everyone and their mother wants to write about their trip to Mexico or Africa. To really understand the cultural and community experience of black people READ work by black people. Honestly, secondhand work is never the move when it comes to studying society and literature. We as a people can uplift one another and encourage black writers. So I compiled a short list of my recommended reads both globally known and lesser known.
Poetry in Motion:
When it comes to being an artist, I often discredit myself in this category, despite how frequently I’m told that I am a valid artist. I felt for a long time that without physical or visual representation aka receipts I could never hold myself to the label of an artist. During Black History month this year, I had a change of heart. With trending tags such as “28 days of Black Writers”, “28 days of Black J fashion” I realized that I am someone who creates content that is art, what I create is Black art. This year I was tagged more than a few times under the 28 days of Black J fashion. Delighted to have a few steps in the Jfashion scene, I understood that I needed to believe that I create art. Whether I take my poetry to the stage, or just share it under an Instagram post, this does not make me any less of a poet.
Modern Black Poets:
Whiskey in the City
Enoch, The Poet
Brittney Black Rose Kapri
G. Winston James
My Personal Reflection:
I think as a Black Femme I can do better to hold myself accountable regarding my heritage and my experiences as a black woman. There is always more I can do, and more I will do in protecting the spaces for black femmes. During black history month, while it is a celebration and revitalization of our history, there is still work to do for the remainder of the year and going forward. Unlike my kawaii exterior which can be shed with some makeup wipes and wig stand, being black does not go away for me. I must constantly remember that I am and will always be a black woman first and how I hold myself and how I present is a part of this fluid cultural experience. I focus on being authentic to me, but I feel like there is more to be said and written when it comes to being a black femme in America.