Trust Your Power. Love Your Blackness.

I first heard these six words on Colin in Black & White–a show I recommend everyone watches–and it stays in my head, especially on the toughest of days.

I’ve struggled with loving and accepting my Black skin for an incredibly long time and am just now learning to be okay with the color of my skin. Though, there are still times I wish I was lighter, if not white, because life would be a little easier.

There are a few things that have contributed to me starting my journey of accepting my Blackness.

The Black Market

Earlier this month, Nashville began having its monthly Nashville Black Market, which takes place the first Friday of every month for four hours. Considering one of my goals as I get older is to continually get better at supporting Black businesses & creators, I had to go.

Little did I know attending the Nashville Black Market would be so good for my mental.

When I went to the market, I felt so connected to Black people, to my culture, and that’s not something I often feel. I left feeling incredibly inspired and motivated in a way I wasn’t expecting; I’m not sure what I felt motivated to do, but the feeling was still there.

Going to a local Black market and supporting small Black businesses helped me take a giant leap in my love for being Black–just like making the decision to chop all my hair off so I can go back natural. My hair is annoyingly thick, but that’s something I’m learning to be grateful for… dead ends and all.

Instagram Accounts

Believe it or not, there are two Instagram accounts that have played a part in me learning to accept my Blackness:

@mefeater: an independent online magazine with a target audience of women who want to be in the know with all things music, entertainment, and fashion. For some reason, the Instagram account isn’t coming up for me to share, but I am incredibly inspired by this online magazine because the editor-in-chief is Gabrielle Amani, a Black woman.

@strongblacklead: a branch of Netflix that is dedicated to amplifying content and entertainment targeted towards Black people and Black culture.

As everyone says, it’s important to follow people on social platforms who inspire you and motivate you. The two aforementioned accounts do that for me (especially once mefeater comes back).

Tracee Ellis Ross Quote

The Tracee Ellis Ross quote on the home page of this blog is playing a significant part in helping me love and appreciate my Blackness. Whenever I’m having an exceptionally tough day and feeling an intense amount of remorse for simply being alive, I go back to the home page of my beautiful blog and feel a bit better:

“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.”

-Tracee Ellis Ross

I have the beautiful ability to make everything about race and toss “Black” in almost every conversation.

Just the other day, I had a conversation about how Black moms want to know the whereabouts of their children, no matter the age of the child. My white friend kind of shut me down and said his mom is the exact same way.

Including “Black” consistently in conversations helps me make peace with the differences I have compared to most of the people I’m surrounded by on a daily basis. Something about being shut down after acknowledging a commonality in my culture makes me question my Blackness, and I genuinely don’t know how to explain that in words; like maybe… what makes me different doesn’t actually make me different, ya know?

The journey to accepting and loving my Blackness, both inwardly and outwardly, is a long and new one for me, especially with everything happening in the world. The events of 2020 definitely put a focus on Black lives and quite literally everything involving Black people, which has somehow put on some added pressure.

As I continue my venture to loving myself and my melanin, I make sure to tell myself “Trust your power. Love your Blackness.”

about the author

Jamilah is a college graduate in her early twenties who wants to live and learn and love herself while fighting the anxiety fight.

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