Growing up we are all self conscience of something. Some of these things we eventual grow out of and some things we hold on to. We may bury it and carry it with us wherever we go, or we choose to let it out and try to overcome it and work through it. I wrote a blog not too long ago titled flaws and all- if you haven’t, stop reading and go check that blog out.- I talk about how my flaws are my beauty. It’s what makes me unique; it’s what makes me different. What I failed to mention was the flaw that took me the longest to overcome.
I love who I am. It took me so long to become comfortable and unapologetic with whom I am. It also took me a long time to figure out who I was, who I wanted to be and who I aspired to become. We all go through situations that shape and mold us to whom we are presently and who we will become. My main purpose was to talk about those situations that may be difficult to talk about, but people could relate to. To use my voice to expose deep issue that we I go through in life. I’ve been through a lot. More than meets the eye. To understand it we have to go to the beginning.
“Being a dark skinned black girl is a part of me. It’s something that I can never change, but I always wanted to.
I grew up in a neighborhood where it wasn’t exactly the hood, but it wasn’t middle class either. It was where they would put the elderly or disabled and every now and again, if you were lucky enough, they would place the people who didn’t seem like “hood rats”. Every now and again a select few slipped through the cracks. For the most part, it was a quiet neighborhood, but it was still the hood.
I went to a predominately white school. Sometimes I would be the only black kid in the class. If I got lucky there would be two of us, but I would be the only one that was aware.- I was very much aware that I came from a different background.-
My grandmother and mother always made it a point to teach me and my brother how to be proper, to have manners, and to never be a product of your environment. –be of the world, but not in it.
This made the kids in my neighborhood treat me as an outsider. Not only did I carry myself like I was above the hood, but I was pretty …for a dark-skinned girl. It’s funny; I always thought that phrase was a compliment. For a dark-skinned girl. Like the color of my skin somehow tarnished my beauty. Like I was less than. Like lighter skin was inferior to mine. The color of my skin somehow made me the scum. I was the blackest, or the darkest they had seen, so I must be the lowest of individuals. Forget my intellect, or my wisdom, or even my contributions to the world. Forget my degrees, my etiquette, or my beauty. No I’m dark skinned, I am not worthy of such status or accomplishments or education.
The white kids from school they accepted me until they became aware. I remember it like yesterday. It was my birthday and like any little girl in elementary school, I wanted to have a big birthday party and a sleepover. My mother worked her ass off to make sure I had it. After the party was over it was time to go back to my house for the sleepover. It was me and my 3 best friends, who all happened to be white.
In my neighborhood all the houses looked the exact same. Red brick one the outside with heavy metal doors. The inside had cylinder bricking all painted ivory. My mother was a great decorated, one of her many trades, and she always had the places hooked up. You never felt like you were in project housing when you were in our house, at least if you were from there.
My friends noticed right away. They each one by one started to feel scared. Before night fell they had each called their parents to pick them up, some even crying.
I hated myself even more. I began even harder to conform, to blend in, and to fit in. I knew if I could just get rid of my dark skin that they would love me.
The teachers picked on me. And when my mother would have my classes moved, the teachers would talk to each other and it would get even worse. My mother eventually withdrew me from the school and I went to stay in Texas with my grandmother.
This school was more diverse. My teacher was a young petite lady. My best friend was Asian and I wasn’t the only black kid in class, in fact if memory serves me right there were more black kids than white.
The kids there didn’t care about your skin color. I loved it there. I began to discover who I was beyond my skin color.
My days there were numbered. My grandmother could no longer care for me, she had a lot going on and was about to move to go back to school for another degree. I hated to leave. I felt so free there. It felt like where I should be.
When I came back home I had a “take no shit from no one” attitude. I went back to the same school with the same issues as a different person. I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind for fear I wouldn’t be accepted. My new best friend was black, and he was unapologetically black. He helped me develop what my mom liked to call “the black girl attitude.” I was going to need it; the next chapter of my life was middle school and if I thought things were bad before. Well they were about to get worse.”
Thats from something special I’m working on. Looking back now, I wish I would’ve told myself you are fine, you are beautiful, your black is beautiful! I wish I would’ve loved myself more. And realized that God knew exactly what he was doing when he decided to make me dark-skinned. I wish I could have told myself its them not me. I wish I could’ve learned sooner that its ok not to fit in and to stand out means more than I could ever know. I wish I would’ve realized sooner that the whole world would be trying to obtain this coco butter brown skin. I wish I had a crystal ball that I could see this day and age trying to obtain all the features I was naturally born with.
I’m glad I know now. I’m proud to wake up every morning and have this gorgeous shade of brown skin. And I hope anyone reading this knows too. We were not made to be put in a box and considered the same. We were not made to feel inferior to others. We were not made to conform.
We were made beautifully flawed. We were made beautifully
P.S Go check out my last video –
The Downside to Social Media
P.S.S go check the video out for this blog here! The Blacker the Berry