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Tag Archives: black women

[Content Note: Flashing Images]

And when I say that I don’t make great adult decisions, I mean that I don’t say no to enough things in order to protect myself from how exhausted I currently am. I started this blog entry at my writing group while I was also laughing at some serious schaudenflan when I was supposed to be presenting a positive, inclusive example for my writers. Talk about a failure to pack in my inner asshole. By the by, this is not something that you should say out loud when surrounded by Archer fans.

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[TW: Racism, Misogynoir, Mentions of Racialized Sexual Assault, Gender Slurs, Strong Coarse Language]

I did not come to play with you hos. I came here to slay, bitch. – Big Freedia

I’m probably about one of a million black girl bloggers who is posting her thoughts on Beyonce’s latest visual foray. Being on that weird cusp of Generation X/Y, aka hitting certain milestones on parallel with her Beyness, I never understood the commitment or zealotry of her fan base…until now when Beyonce had reassured us that black excellence was still alive and kicking. Or at least is trying to find a new face.

Because if Lemonade has done anything, and no doubt it’s done a lot, it’s reiterated with electric fury that the world only allows cishet white men with Fuck You money to use it to say Fuck You.

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Because this black woman is not a search engine.

Because this black woman is not a plot device or trope.

Because this black woman is not a puzzle to solve.

Because this black woman is not a project for you to implement.

Because this black woman is not a platform on which you can build your agenda.

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It’s not until you step onto that Big Con stage that you realize how little you truly know about anything, yet how much your simple presence will affect someone in your audience. After three years of attending C2E2 as an overeager fan ready to absorb the wit and wisdom bestowed upon us by the convention’s guests, 2015 marked the first year that I had been given the opportunity be the person on stage whom people came to hear. Despite having spoken at several conventions prior to this year’s C2E2, it still shocks the shit out of me that people not only want to hear what I have to say, but that they think that what I have to say is smart, insightful and/or inspiring. I suppose that this is the form which impostor syndrome has chosen to manifest itself in my head space; fighting the omnipresent indoctrination that everything about you is wrong and out of place in this cishet white male world seems to be an never-ending battle for many who are marginalized. I find myself fortunate that I head into that battle with amazing comrades and impeccable armor:

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I don’t eat greens. I can’t double-dutch. I don’t speak nor understand AAVE. I’m a product of white neighborhoods, white extracurricular activities and white private schools. I knew of the Cranberries before I knew of the Fugees, and I was convinced that the only TV superheroes were He-Man and She-Ra. As far as I could tell, the only thing that made me black was the color of my skin; however the excess of melanin had never been enough to gain the community’s acceptance. I felt like my brown skin was some sort of disguise, something I sprayed on each morning in order to fool people. I could blend into a predominantly black environment upon entrance, but woe betide myself and whomever would come to speak to me! All it would take were a couple of words out of my mouth, and somehow they always knew that I was an impostor.
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Eight years ago, I picked up this little gem from the Wheaton Public Library. I had been wallowing in the midst of a six-year hiatus from writing fiction due to school and self-degradation over my ability to craft sentences free of dry, academic rhetoric, and at some point between red cup parties in Allston and swag events in the Back Bay, it had been recommended that I read Virginia Woolf. Stemmed wholly in the ignorance of 20th century feminist struggles, I became and grew more aghast with each page as Ms. Woolf struggled to find a place where she could simply enjoy doing what she loved most. Determined to enjoy the freedom given to me by the 21st century, I picked up my pen once more and began to produce prose. What I did not produce until recently was a clear and concise understanding of how much my gender and my race would be so intrinsically linked with everything that I loved, specifically those things within the Land of Geekdom. Read More »

I have a very disjointed relationship with my race and my gender. I am the product of two white collar, college-educated black people, who are also the products of college-educated black people, and was raised in the near suburbs of a city that isn’t exactly known for its integration. Read More »

I went to go visit my aunt one day before she went into the hospital for her first round of chemo, and we sat there watching The Big Bang Theory. My aunt, an upright, God-fearing woman, staunchly proud of her southern roots, confessed to me that she had never shown an interest in BBT because it was a show about nerds.

I inferred her statement to mean that, until recently, nerd/geek culture had not found a place in my aunt’s world for whatever reason, so, instead of going off on my usual tirade about the latent racism, sexism, homophobia, and geek-ism that runs rampant in BBT (rest assure, I will go on about it in this blog ad nauseum), I let my aunt in on a little part of myself that I had only shared with the male members of my family. It was at that moment when I realized that I had inadvertently been contributing to a social stigma that’s been haunting black women for over 100 years.

I was ashamed to admit that I am a black nerd girl.

I picked and chose to whom I “came out of the nerd closet”, most of these ceremonial outings were attended by Caucasian or Asian heterosexual men because those are the demographics that make up all of Nerdom, right?

Wrong. Wrong. OH SO MANY WRONGS!

Why, you ask? Why did I hide such an integral part of who I was from those for whom I care? Because, deep down, I was [and still am] struggling with society’s concept that black women are supposed to think, act, and talk a certain way. Black women are supposed to like certain things. Black women are supposed to believe in God. Black women are supposed to have certain priorities. Black women are suppose to obey their older family members without question. Black women are suppose to marry black men. Black women are supposed to have black babies. Black women are supposed to be loud, abrasive, direct, aggressive, strong, endearing, maternal, uncompromising, and invulnerable. According to society, black women are supposed to exist within this narrow box because the rest of the world can’t comprehend anything else, and we don’t want to take the time to understand ourselves outside of the color of our skin, or outside the “confines” of our gender, our culture, our socioeconomic status. We don’t want to, or are deathly afraid of, stepping outside of the Box.

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen of both cis and trans natures, I can’t stay in the Box anymore. I can’t be what my mother, my father, my aunts, my uncles, my brother, my cousins, Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey want me to be anymore. 

I want to be able to bitch slap Chuck Lorre in the face and say, “Hey, you narrow-minded shit, the Higgs-Boson was not definitely discovered; six years of Penny’s inferiority complex isn’t funny; social anxiety disorder is NOT something to be taken lightly; and by the way, I DO exist!”

I want to be able to go to a heavy metal concert and not be tagged as self-hating or self-denying.

I want to be able to go to a Con as Thor if I feel so inclined and not have my life threatened.

So, now is when I begin to do so.

Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I am a feminist. Yes, I am a Skeptic, an Atheist, and a minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Yes, I am a writer, a lover, a novice spinner, a martial artist, a runner, a swimmer, a hiker. And yes, I would rather see Within Temptation and Nightwish than Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

And yes, I am black.

So this is me, stepping outside of the Box. Come join me, if you can. Image