#BlackLivesMatter

Jamila

 

"I am someone that does not usually struggle to speak her mind, but I've re-written this about 100 times. I have written and deleted the ugly words I've been called; I was ready to tell you the words I've had thrown at me but I wasn't prepared to tell anyone how those words made me feel."

"You prove them wrong by going after every opportunity, by setting yourself goals and telling yourself you will achieve them even if they don't want you to. You prove them wrong by loving yourself anyway."

Who am I?

I am the woman a stranger spat at and called a monkey.

I am a 'n****r,' a 'half-c***e', a 'mongrel'.

Who am I?

I am the woman who was told by her father that she was not black enough. That she could never understand the struggle of what it means to be fully black.

Who am I?

I am the woman who has been confused about where she fits in.

I am someone that does not usually struggle to speak her mind, but I've re-written this about 100 times. I have written and deleted the ugly words I've been called; I was ready to tell you the words I've had thrown at me but I wasn't prepared to tell anyone how those words made me feel.

Whenever I have experienced racism I think I've felt embarrassed. It's a reminder that I'm viewed as dirt, second class. A reminder that I am different and, because of that, I am hated. And I wasn't going to let anyone see it hurt.

I grew up hating parts of myself. I hated my nose. I hated my hair. I hated my skin. I grew up knowing I would have to work twice as hard to get half as far.

I think people underestimate the power of identification. Not seeing people who look like me in positions of seniority in my profession hurts. Seeing people who look like me get profiled, assaulted and murdered because of their skin colour hurts.

The truth is sometimes we hurt for simply being who we are, but this space was created because I want to celebrate you. This is where we celebrate us. This is where we allow the power of identification to heal us; this is where you don't have to feel like an 'only'.

Today I love my nose, I love my hair, I love my skin.

I've been taught, when someone wants to push you down, you stand tall. You prove them wrong by going after every opportunity, by setting yourself goals and telling yourself you will achieve them even if they don't want you to. You prove them wrong by loving yourself anyway.

To be honest, I feel sorry for them. Because while they are busy hating, I am busy loving. Loving myself, loving this community.

While they are busy hating, YOU are being loved.

I don't want you to “not see colour". We are all wonderfully different. I want you to see my differences, see my colour, and respect me for who I am.

 

[As originally posted on her platform: https://www.instagram.com/wearebeautifulfaces/]

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