Before all the commercials, social media presence, and businesses promoting ” the black experience” ends, I wanted to share my feelings this Black History Month.
In January, I began a new journey: therapy. It’s been a long time coming but it was the best thing for me. Before you start asking, “What’s wrong with Bianca? Are you ok? Are you in crisis,” CHILE Y’ALL, ya girl is fine. It’s just that I needed to take care of my mind, body, and spirit.
The first thing my therapist and I dove into was racial identity. A lot of things came up. The thought of not being black enough and being too white has been the story of my life. I was always different and hurt by my own because I was “not black enough.” I did not realize how 20 years of struggling with racial identity came out in the first few therapy sessions. I was hurt, broken, and unworthy cause I was told that. Growing up I felt like I had to chose a color. Whether I wanted to be with the culture or not.
In our sessions, we went into experiences where I was hurt by my own people. I shared my childhood and school experiences. Things that happened 20 years STILL affected me. I was telling my therapist all the times and ways I was not considered black: my clothes, the way I spoke, my academic successes, my white friends, and others. As our therapy sessions continue and I divulged more, my therapist impressed upon me how my experiences do not make me any more white or black; it’s me. Let me repeat: My experiences do not make me any more white or black.
My life has caused me to be a bridge of unity. I get to be in spaces that are different. I get to experience life from different lenses, people, and perspectives. I just bring people together. I interact with everyone. That is fine. I’m Bianca. I am not black because I do XYZ. I am not “white” because I do XYZ. I choose to live because I am Bianca. I am forging a path for myself.
Being black is not a monolith. There are so many ways to express black excellence, black culture, and black life. For so long, ignorant gatekeepers made me feel less than thus I did not feel I could represent the culture or “be black enough.” Not anymore. I am responsible for myself and sanity. No one lives my life, only me. Why let that toxicity rule my mind? Why not live as who God made me. Why not!?!
I am enough. I am worthy. I am ME!
The experiences I have are unique to me. I am black and Haitian-American. I am a Christian. I have different perspectives in the way I move and navigate through life and that’s fine. I am my own black history. I get to be Bianca. No color nor culture should define me to be something I am not. I should just be.
Be my own black.
Make my own black history.
Live blissfully black as me.
That’s all: No more, no less.