In honour of Black History Month I asked the following question across my socials and listed below are some of the profound and interesting responses that I received…
“What does being black mean to you?”
“I do not identify with being black, rather African, we do not really use the term ‘black’ in African vocabulary. What I love and I am most proud of as a Nigerian is our rich culture.”
“Being black to me is about being bold and unapologetic in who I am and taking pride in my appearance from my afro kinky hair to my button nose to my rich melanin skin.”
“Being black means being blessed.”
“Black is powerful yet controversial. A history full of pain yet strength. Honourable but at the same time failing to reach its potential. Black has its roots in bondage but conversely has slowly produced buds. Buds which in the right conditions will bare fruits to a force which can only be stopped by itself. Being black is powerful – but our real power is yet to be asserted.”
“Black is beautiful and l am proud to be black. I know l can achieve anything if l am focused. The sky is my limit.”
“Being black to me comes with a responsibility to negate every poorly misguided stereotype the media and the western society has of a black person. It is about showing that excellence defies all racism.”
“Although I am black and American, I take great pride in being NIGERIAN, we are so driven, goal oriented and carry ourselves to the highest standards (at least we try to)”
“Being black to me means being self-aware. It means being aware of all the discrimination I may face and the stereotypes imposed on me because of my skin tone, but also being aware of the fact that this will not stop me from achieving greatness.”
“Being black shows the variety of God’s creation. It is about not letting my skin colour define my experiences. And it is also a source of pride.”
“Being black is my identity it is who I am. Upon introspection I recognise myself as a black woman before I recognise any other feature of my being. My skin represents strength, beauty, oppression and struggle. But being black means more than just physical appearances, being black means culture, spirit, soul and heritage. Being black is being part of something bigger and I love it. As a black woman when I achieve something great I don’t just see it as my achievement but an achievement for all black women. It is no longer just about me but about every single black person out there. Being black means that there is someone out there that experiences the same things that I do. Being black is never being alone. Being black is the greatest blessing for me. Being black is my beauty. Being black means I will look great at 50. Being black is my strength. What does being black mean to me? Everything.”
‘Her hair defies gravity and her skin absorbs the sun, Black women are magic’
What does being black mean to me?
Being black is who I am but it does not define me. I am black but that does not give leeway for others to treat me as a lesser member of society. Being black is about understanding and standing proud in that truth. Being black is about working to build each other up, bringing success to our communities and not just to ourselves. Being black is acknowledging and embracing our history and our culture. Being black is about doing better for the next generation. Being black is about going above and beyond to prove ourselves. Being black is fun. Being black is sexy. Being black is powerful. There is nothing more I love than being black.
Thanks for reading and please comment below with what being black means to you. X