As we continue to proudly reflect on the experiences and contributions of the Black community. This week, we delve into the theme of Black self-perception, featuring quotes from individuals who shed light on what Blackness means from their unique perspectives. Next week, we will explore the experiences of those who identify as Black and of interracial heritage, sharing their insights and stories. We encourage you to join us in celebrating and amplifying these diverse voices during this important observance.
My Journey as an African Woman in America
By Lucie King
Native Country: Kenya
Upon arrival, I did not feel seen or heard, especially by African Americans. So in a country where women are so empowered, in my Blackness, I felt less power. In my native Kenya when I spoke, people would stop to listen. For a long time, my take was that Black Americans were almost as bitter against Africans as they were against whites. But after learning of the struggles of Blacks in America, I now understand their relationship with whites much better. We all shared different levels of colonialism, Blacks who were taken from Africa, and Blacks who experienced colonialism in Africa.
My Meaning of Blackness
By Juan Brown
Blackness means to me to be brilliant and troubled at the same time. Being Black in America requires a lot of resilience which means I have to be aware of racism continuously. My Blackness is my inheritance. I owe my ancestors for passing down traits of survival and fortitude. I’m thankful for being born into such a beautiful legacy.
My Blackness is not defined by shades
By Feliz Morris
What does it mean to be Black? To be Black blurs the lines of my skin color. Whether I’m dark or light, it is the richness of my inheritance that is hidden within the seeds of my ancestors. My Black roots translate to my mind, body, and soul. It’s my spirit and the pureness of my Blackness that connects me to the divine. He created me to be Black, to be loved, and to be beautiful.
My Blackness is Africa to me
By Joeann Rembert
St. Paul, MN
What does my Blackness mean to me? It means I speak from a genealogical place of the African woman, rooted in the wisdom of the Motherland. I own my Blackness and am proud of our degree of melatonin that stamps uniqueness on each and every one of us. We are the deep well from which the world comes to feed and learn. As a Black woman there lies within me the power to create every shade of human life! My Blackness says to the world there is richness and power in my people that can withstand any challenge.
Blackness is the ever-giving seed
Pastor Bernice M. Purnell
St. Paul, MN
What does it mean to be a Black seed? The Black seed (He or She) is taken out of their own environment. Never being properly nurtured or cared for in their new surroundings, but never, ever giving up. The Black roots go deep.
Blackness in America is Complicated
St. Paul, MN
Being born Black and raised in America from the word GO is not a smooth ride toward the American Dream. I must say what I feel is quite the opposite and although my Blackness shouldn’t have anything to do with that journey, but in America, sadly it has everything to do with it. Because of our Blackness, we experience systemic challenges like racial profiling, poor health care, criminal injustices, and this list could go on. But what my Blackness means to me is that despite all of this we’re still here, growing stronger…as the saying goes – “They thought they were burying us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”
We are thankful to readers for sharing insightful personal experiences. Your contributions and willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue truly enrich our community. Next week, we shift our discussion to the experience of being interracial, living in both worlds and navigating the complexities of the color question in America.