I am a Black woman in the United States. I have spent a great deal of time in my first quarter of my doctoral program examining the citizenship and self-making processes of Black women in this country. As such, I have come to the conclusion that not enough Black women are in full ownership of ourselves. We belong to jobs. We belong to friends. We belong to family. We belong to society. Some would say, the Black woman is “de mule uh de world.” But, I’m not here for that anymore. In 2015, I’m going to own myself for the first time in my life.
Yes, this is a lofty goal but, I believe, it is totally attainable. Not only is it attainable, it’s imperative.
First, I am no longer going to allow the actions and/or expectations of others (especially those outside of my social circles) dictate my behavior, appearance, and comfort in my own skin. I have started some of this already by calling out folks when they treat me differently than others or undermine my contributions or intelligence in ways meant to silence me. I have stopped caring about what others think about my chosen hairstyles or clothing. And, I have increasingly moved away from social groups which require me to change in order to be a member. I am subscribing to the belief that me just being me is good enough.
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