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These are my thoughts, yo.

Searching for Legitimacy

jasmine banks

Things get too intricate. There is the mess of yarn and flotsam in my mind and the cat, my anxiety, bats it around and tears at it often. Black girls are told to follow their dreams like all kinds of other girls, but no one ever reads the fine print to them. That fine print that outlines the conditions of how we can access our dreams. That we will have to fight 90% of the time to simply be able to have 1% of our ideas on the table. Even then they will be contorted and bleached. Bleached white, repackaged, with our names erased. 

On my path of personal development I came to this uncomfortable intersection where I had to acknowledge my participation in internalized anti-Blackness. When I achieved something I desired, that I'd worked for, focused on, or been given by way of everything I deserved I wouldn't fully embrace it. I upheld anti-Blackness by seeking to highlight my pain and suffering more than acknowledge that Black people, me as a Black person, deserved all the goodness. Part of the myth anti-Blackness teaches us about Black existence is that we must harm ourselves toward legitimacy. We must be flayed open, either self-imposed or at the hands of whiteness, and exposed to provide proof of legitimacy. We must prove that we are deserving. We must suffer always. When the joy comes, if it comes, we cannot fully embrace it. We must posture. We must remain humble because, of course, the good thing was never something we deserved anyhow. 

I won't be broken open any longer in search of legitimacy. My Blackness is all the legitimacy I need, and I don't own it anyone.