Don't miss out on exciting updates
The Skin You're In
**This is going to be my first #backthenbrownie post! On moving to my new website, I had several hitches transferring my old posts and I guess that was a blessing and a curse in some ways. Now that I've gotten most of my posts back, I've decided to re-introduce them to you all every thursday so that if you're new, you get to see the old me, and if youre up to date, well, it's just a throwback! These posts will BARELY be editted most times so you can have the genuine #backthenbrownie experience,lol **
Looking back at the my pre-awareness stage, I am thankful for the gift of ignorance.
I feel like it is only fair to be as brutally honest as possible, and as an African, I will have the tendency to make statements that might sound prejudice, I'm sorry really, but since I know for a fact that most black people think they cannot be prejudice, I will feed into that ignorance one last time.
The thing with being a 'brown' girl is that things are never simple. ( Now, I am eager to believe that this is the same in every culture, but I like to speak according to my area of expertise)
Being 'Black' becomes more and more apparent to us especially now, in a world ruled by social media and destination weddings, but can we look back to the days when we didn't really think we had a colour?
Growing up in Abuja meant school girl crushes, annual birthday parties, fried meat, ice cream, and not much else. There was never a time it was felt by anyone that we could be different from other people , white people were just people that lived in our tvs! Now isn't that something? When I was younger, I only saw one colour...no, I wasn't colour blind, I was just colour-inept. I always wanted to play with the white barbies, but not because they were white, more because there were the most popular ones, they were easily attainable and never once did I envision myself being her colour or compare her to me, she was literally a being outside myself, on her own and much as I was on mine, she even had a Nigerian accent coincidentally.
The day I realised I was black was the strangest day of my life. It was a raw feeling that mimicked the loss of air when you first try to jump into a pool, you know its not lethal but there's something about it that just doesn't sit well. I had moved to New York and I had been pushed into a new upper class world with no one that looked the slightest bit like me. And then it hit me! I was different. And no, I wasn't different because I was the only flat chested girl in my class (even though that didn't help), or because I was from a different continent and had a funny accent, or even because I was a different colour! I became different because I set myself apart because of my colour. For some reason, my 'blackness' stopped me from being able to be funny without making comments I wasn't comfortable with or feeling comfortable in my starched out uniform with the white shirt that stood out so obviously on my very brown skin. Being coloured is a funny feeling that one cannot really put into words. It's like a hint of melancholy at the edge of a smirk. Frankly, it upset me so much that I was different that I didn't even try to make friends!
Now, I am unapologetically myself, and I feel like that should add to my 'appeal' but others might be inclined to disagree. I have learnt to love who I am and what I am because of the beauty that lies within those around me. But then again, isn't love an all purpose excuse for selfish behaviour? SO yes, I'm totally black now, even though since I'm more of a caramel colour, I'd like to think of myself as 'Brown' , hence the title of my blog 'Her Brownie: Blogging While Brown' and being fully aware of my colour now, I find it upsetting that my 'skin' might be an issue to others. Being black or brown is now more than a colour or a prominent physical identifier, It is a mentality.
Black isn't a synonym for thug, or video vixen, its not synonymous to or with single mother or even unappreciated doctor that turns out to be the real hero at the end of the movie. Black is an empty void desperately craving to be filled ( I know that sounds slightly sexual, but let's stay on track). It's a type of enslavement. Who's our slave master? Ourselves, of course! oh Joy! No more holding others accountable for our set backs because guess what? You're officially free to come and go as you please! Life is tough but all you have is you! And if Black is who you are, then own it before it is taken away from you.
As a black woman/man, you have now been given the privilege to prove yourself because the expectations in general for people of colour are dangerously low.
Be Better Brownie