I’ve written a couple of letters now to different people including my possible future daughter but this letter is for all of the amazing women that have raised, protected, and loved me. This one is for you.
Dear Black Woman,
Thank you. I could not even begin how to thank you for your strength and guidance through centuries, let alone my life. People have tried to eradicate or submit your existence since the beginning of time and you have survived. I understand why you are considered Mother Earth as you gave birth and inevitably meaning to our lives.
I watch the protests, movies, videos, books, and various forms of media through time, and you were always there. From the first escape to the final protest, there you were on the front lines with us. When the men were taken or killed (now or then), you maintained the family. When a man lost his way, you were there to remind him of the man God made him to be. If we speak on faith, my prayer warriors and angels all look like you.
I look back at my life and see nothing but women that raised me. My grandmother, aunts, cousins, and teachers poured so much time into me that without them, I probably would have died years ago. I am a foolhardy, headstrong man who always had to find things out his way. I took my lumps but you helped me survive them. Who put me back together when my world fell apart? Women. Who gave me guideposts and support when others deserted me? Women. Who had faith in me when I didn’t have faith in myself? Black women.
It’s important for me to say this as a lot of you feel under-appreciated. I agree that you all deserve more respect and love than what you receive. I wouldn’t even be here without you. Not just because you birthed me, but because you helped mold my thoughts, encouraged me when I was down, and saw something bigger than myself. You are amazing. You are wonderful. You are more than a muse, you are God’s gift itself.
You are also the embodiment of willful defiance. You are supernatural power condensed and polished to a shine. Whether your hair defies gravity or even when it decides to play along, it can change like the wind. I love that. Your strength is embodied from the crown of your head to the sole of your feet. Your walk is soundtracked to your own rhythm and your sashay becomes a beautiful dance. You skin absorbs the warmth of the sun and spills over to your smile. This is all before we get to your mind.
Passionate words roll off your lips as you materials thoughts and words unsaid. You can cut deeply or heal wounds with just a few moments. You can make torrential rains seem meek or sunny days seem not bright enough. I’ve met future theologians, philosophers, doctors, chefs, ministers, and entrepreneurs under one roof, all exchanging ideas. I’ve seen creatives make artwork that made my world seem small or full of infinite possibilities all before cooking, cleaning, and handling all other business they had. You leave me in awe.
I pray for your protection, joy, and peace. I pray that one day I will be strong enough to deserve you. I pray that through God entrusting with your care, that I will be able to be a blessing to you. If I have daughters one day, I pray that I will do that honor justice. I could write for days about how much I love you. It all comes down to this: You are wonderful, beautiful, awe-inspiring, strong, and loved.
Happy International Women’s Day!