a love letter for black girls, or gratitude.

a love letter for black girls, or gratitude.

Dear Black Women,

You are magic. You are love and joy and faith. You make me dance. You are cause for celebration. Everything good I have ever known has come from you. And you don’t even know it. Because you just are. You don’t know how to be anything less.

Thank you for A Seat At the Table. Thank you for Lemonade. Thank you for Bodak Yellow. Thank you for For Everybody. Thank you for ctrl. Thank you for imperfection. Thank you for being you, every day, in a world that tries to tell you who you are. Thank you for refusing to be apologetic. Thank you for apologizing. Thank you for waking up this morning. I know it was hard. I know that step felt like ten. I know you carried us all with you. I know. I know. I am grateful for you. I too am trying to find the joy in self. I too am trying to find self. And I thank you.

I keep saying that, because no one ever does. And I know you’re tired. Tired of being written out of the history you make. Tired of being called magic when you’ve only ever asked to breathe. But there is so much magic in your breath. So much magic in swimming in the poison, in making rainbows out of chains. In waking up as revolution. In daring to be vulnerable when always under threat. You have made home out of  an un-free place. Have convinced us all you are free. And I thank you.

Thank you for raising the man I hope to marry one day. I know he is not grateful enough, but I am. I hope he never fixes his mouth to talk back or to talk smack. I hope he wakes up every day and thanks you for eyes he uses to see the starts, and muscle that was once fat from black nipple. In long tradition of brown women I will share with him my warmth. You need yours. It is okay.

Thank you for giving me a voice to write with and the spine to shoulder myself from the worst of it. Thank you for always being honest. Thank you for being the first to clock in. Thank you for never clocking out. I am so sorry to be thankful for your trauma. I am so sorry for being unable to imagine a way to express gratitude without asking so much. I ask me, too. I never say no. But I hope you do.

You are the eyes across a crowded lecture room my own can watch with. You are the arms I link with at protests, and in malls, and in life. You are my President. You are the only example of selfless love I have ever bore witness to.

Thank you for not electing President Donald Trump. Thank you for not electing President Donald Trump. Thank you for not electing President Donald Trump.

Today I rode a city bus home from work and no one called me a nigger. And no one felt me up. And no one spat on me. And that is not everyone’s reality. But it is only mine because of you. Your tired hands and spirit that doesn’t quit because no one ever told you it could. You have made Sunday dinner and childhood memories and jump rope and soft, soft love out of an un-free place. And I thank you. And I love you. Like I wish to love myself one day. With no conditions and without expectations. I wish only that you are as whole as you make the world. I wish only that you were the world, and all the joy in it.