There is a half joke, half empowerment movement on the part of Twitter I inhabit called “black girl time/season”
It’s Black women circling around, supporting and amplifying the works, art, success and accomplishments of other Black women. Because if we don’t do it for each other, we all know, it won’t get done. It’s a beautiful thing to see and be a part of.
I, myself, go out of my own way to make sure my sisters know they and everything they do is valuable, necessary and important.
But it just hit me recently, I don’t do the same for myself.
Not too long ago, I saw some words on Instagram that caused a tiny tweak of pride. “Create the things you wish existed.” it commanded in blurry, over-filtered font. ‘I’ve done that, ’ I thought. I created a post around it showcasing the jewelry and cards I’ve made simply because I wished they existed. The moment of pride passed and I went about my day… Later, I saw the post had over 200+ notes. One stuck out, “I can’t wait for this to be me.”
Somewhere in the world there was a record scratch.
Someone wanted to be me, to do something I’ve done and thought nothing of. For as long as I have been cognizant of my own existence, I’ve been aware of my many flaws and failings. Last year I was a part of organizing CT’s largest immigration rally. I looked some of my lawmakers in the eye and “came out” as an unrecognized American, a term I made up and prefer to “illegal”. I told them to do better, to make way for me and my potential to the sound of applause and cheers of over 5,000 people. I was immensely proud of myself and despite being afraid for me, many of the people in my life were as well. Not even a day later, I let my accomplishments be eclipsed by a small mistake, a C- on a test. I returned to my usual state of criticizing myself and worrying about my future.
But that one little comment made me really look at myself. ”I can’t wait for that to be me.”
I shouldn’t need to see my work through another’s eyes to see it praise worthy but that’s what it took. I realize I need to celebrate myself. I’ve done some amazing things.
When my parents’ savings plan fell through, I helped put myself through school, no financial aid. It is a momentous feat that I’m still working on. I broke ground at my school, helping revise my department’s Eurocentric class requirements. I won awards for my event planning and kept my grades up, all while working full time.
I wanted to be published, so I did that.
Every challenge put before me I conquered. And while I haven’t done everything I want to, I’m worthy of my own praise.
Women, we find it so much easier to build others up than we do to celebrate ourselves. Black women are especially guilty. We’re taught from birth to care for the family and the collective. To do so humbly and quietly, expect no praise and give ourselves none.
But we are a part of that collective. We deserve our own care and praise. On Twitter, some of us have declared this year the beginning of Black girl season, a time of celebration for our special kind of magic. It’s the year I start unabashedly celebrating myself, too.
Every time we walk in the room, it’s Black girl time. We’re worthy of raising our own voices to sing our own praises.