It has a way of tearing people apart and forcing space between family, friends and even strangers. One thing that really stands out to me is the level jealousy felt and given amongst African American women. Now, I have even found myself doing it. I catch myself all the time comparing the curves, the texture of my hair to another black woman or the level of success and independence that another black woman may have. But one of the main attributes that I find myself mentally competing with is skin tone. If a black woman is of a lighter complexion then I instantly find myself thinking, “Well she is definitely more attractive than I am”, so what does that say about me and how I view myself and another woman with a darker or brown skin complexion. In the beginning, I used to joke about it a lot and as I grew older I realized that my jokes and putting myself down or mentally competing with another black woman had a serious deep-rooted place in my mind and heart. I truly believed what I thought and it was sad. It would hinder me from making friends, how I dressed and mainly how I looked at myself. So often as black women we always find some reason to compete with the next SISTER instead of seeing her for her strengths and applauding her or learning from her, we find a way to tear ourselves down or tear each other down. All this accomplishes is a complete breakdown in the unity and longevity of the black community. As I continue to grow, I am learning to appreciate, celebrate and uplift all my Sisters of Color because we only have each other and if we can keep the black woman strong and unified then we can keep the black community strong and unified.
Black women remember your beauty and your worth. When we leave the house each day we should carry ourselves in a manner that represents all black SISTERS as bold, elegant, educated and unified because that is what we are for our families, our community and each other. We are the breath that keeps our people going. We are the foundation on which that stands upon. We are the backbone that bears the weight of the people’s struggle. We are the heart and soul of the black community. Though we may come in all various colors and sizes we are SISTERS and nothing or no one should be able to break our bond.
Today I vow to face the women looking back at me in the mirror and loving her unconditionally so I will be able to love all of my SISTERS the same way….