I've been thinking about what it feels like being a black woman lately and I realize it's slowly become more of me than I initially paid attention to. When I first decided to really start taking care of myself years ago, I would find myself including "black woman" in my work and affirmations but I still didn't see the beauty of it. I felt more comfortable saying I was just a "woman" searching for herself and her healing. However, as time has passed, I realize I am not just a "woman". 


The same hands I use to write and share my work with others are hard to ignore.


The more I began to write, the more I began to seek other women who bared their soul in their writing. Women who let their blood spill onto paper and into online public spaces. Specifically black women. The more I wrote, the more a cup I hadn't filled began to rattle. A cup of my identity beyond the way I typically described myself. Beyond my characteristics. A cup that demanded I tell the truth and lead with it first.  It would be the work of Tyece Wilkins, Amber Janae, GG Renee, Alex Elle, Upile Chisala, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Warshan Shire and more that began to pour into this cup until I had no choice but to pay attention to it. Even Solange Knowles described my insecurities and memories thus far as a black woman in Cranes in The Sky when she said:

I tried to drink it away. I tried to put one in the air. I tried to dance it away. I tried to change it with my hair. I ran the credit card bill up. Thought a new dress would make it better. I tried to work it away but that just made me even sadder. I tried to keep myself busy. I ran around in circles. Think I made myself dizzy. I slept it away. I sexed it away. I read it away.  - Cranes in The Sky

When I felt fully ready to feel and show that being a black woman is a part of me like the organs that help keep me alive, I looked to the one place I couldn't run from being a black woman if I tried. The women in my family. Women I grew up watching and loving. It wasn't until I was older that I realized they are not perfect...and are not obligated to be contrary to societal, religious and familial beliefs. These women are black in a world that hasn't always been kind to black people or women. These women passed their blood, sweat, tears, joy and God down to younger generations. We carry the weight of that, rather knowingly or unknowingly, and our own experiences as black women...trying to stand firm in a world that would rather see us crawling on all fours. A world that would rather we beg for our freedom than take it. A world that would readily throw us away with no key to return.

But you know what? Being a black woman and being consciously aware of it has given me something I didn't know was possible. I am finding myself, my healing and my God right here in being a black woman. My truth, not the curated truth, but the vulnerable truth is here. I'd like to think all of these things were waiting for me to be vulnerable so I could eventually learn to fill my own cup. There are days when my hand still trembles while pouring into it. They tremble because I may be worried about my skin color being too dark, my texture being too kinky, my experiences being too much to bear, my desires too blatant. But I keep pouring anyway and I ask for help when I am afraid to pour into me. 

I no longer think of being this black and being a woman as a curse. I am not a burden. I am alive. I am allowed to be a black woman and experience the things life has to offer. I will walk in this freedom without permission and I will continue to walk a path to Glory despite the fact some people are trying to hide a key from people like me . The fact they are trying to hide it means they never had it to begin with. That's been God's whisper to me. The true key is being so comfortable with yourself that you make room for others to do the same and you don't mind if they look/act differently than you.

And so...

Outfit Details
1. Striped Bodysuit x American Apparel (similar here)
2. Black Denim Skirt x Zara (similar here)
3. Bamboo Bag x Cult Gaia