I wear a lot of African fabrics….i feel like it is me figuring and finding myself….i like certain styles…I rock them and let them become parts of who I am.
How I breathe.
My students notice them. They smile…they compliment…they nod.
My black students beam. And then they ask me which country did I get it from. I draw blanks. I don’t know those differences…just they come from African soil.
They tell me it’s okay Ms. Jesi….just tell us where you from. I let them know Texas. They giggle… and say we know you American, but your people…what country are you from? You know, your home.
I tear up.
I know nothing. I call a land home that has proven over and over it does not want me, it doesn’t value me, it cheats me and kills my brothers, berates my sisters and I still smile and try to get her to love me. My blood built her and she hates me.
And in return I have no sense of where I am from. Because, out here home is easy. But for African Americans, British Africans, its complex.
I tell them I don’t know….they ask me how.
I tell them about my DNA test….how I am 10 percent of every major African country. They are perplexed. How does that work.
I answer slavery.
And we talk about the ugly parts of history. And how I am a combination and a truth of that.
I thought I was simply a black woman before.
I am a survivor. I am the script of the legend…proof of the history.
Our stories don’t just matter. They are the history.
The artifacts. The pictures of the museum…if you have black skin on American soil….your destiny was never planned. You are the few and we worked hard to walk how we walk now. The blood that shed spared your DNA to the moment you are now….
In 2019, the population of blackness should be double maybe triple of what it is. It was burned out….lynched….left to die….put into shelters and ignored.
We are magnificent.
We are purposed.
You are enough. But trust and believe….your ancestors built you to be more.
And we are.
You are the story and the legend of yesterday the sculptures of tomorrow.
You are a masterpiece.
Know your worth. When your country and culture has been stripped of you…you are not lost….
You just discovered the world to gain.