I’m past the nine-month mark in my pregnancy, and at this point, I’m playing the waiting game for my daughters’ arrival. I’m on maternity leave and have finished finals for the semester– which means no classes or studying, so it leaves me with all the time in the world to think, and this morning I woke to a mood- an irritable mood- a feeling that made me fear the future.
How am I supposed to raise a black-girl in this world as a black woman?
The Decision To Be Successful
- I decided to be the best that I could be years ago, while still in High-School, and that decision was brought on by losing a teacher to cancer. At the time, I didn’t realize how much she meant to me until losing her, but she was the person who made you love something because she was so in love with that something, and that alone was inspiring.
- Nothing has made me want to strive for the stars more than my daughter. Since finding out I was pregnant, I’ve planned, schemed, and put into action ways that I can be successful for my small-new family. I even killed myself to make sure that the problems in my relationship were worked out so my family too can be prosperous as a whole.
But don’t most mothers/parents worry about their success and being the best example for their kids?
My Blackness is a Subcategory of My Success
- I’m consumed with rich melanin, and that comes before my effort to be successful (crazy right?). I graduated in the top of my class in High School as Student Body Vice President, am working towards my Bachelor’s Degree, work full-time, while upholding a 3.0 GPA, AND I’m a person who has never been in any trouble. BUT at the end of the day, I have to consider my blackness.
- The idea of having more than one social identity, making it difficult to develop a sense of self is a called Double Consciousness, and it was derived by W.E.B Du Bois.
- To better explain this, it’s the idea of an African American having to consider their culture in the eyes of not only their culture but of others. This makes it to where they have to second-guess their actions consistently and to make sure they’re not acting “ghetto,” “ratchet,” “insubordinate,” “thuggish” or “aggressive.”
- As a black woman, I often find myself experiencing this Double Consciousness, and the idea of my daughter having to suffer this lack of self-identity or worth puts knots in my stomach.
- Not every mother/parent has to go through this, and that’s upsetting for me today.
For generations, black parents have bred successful children and lived prosperous lives, so I know it’s accomplishable. But it doesn’t change the fact of it being upsetting. How can someone’s complexion be a barrier, making it difficult to achieve success?
How does my blackness offend so many?
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