In a world where women have to fight for everything they have (from subsistence to abundance), women of color have had to do so with the added weight of historically burdened pronouns such as Black, Native American, Asian, Latina, Aboriginal, indigenous, etc. Some of the world’s most renowned celebrities are introduced or characterized as “Black model”, “Latina actress”, “Indian beauty” and so on as if we are different and anomalies.
This is, in itself, mind-boggling as the majority of the world is not Caucasian. It is an obvious manifestation of power – economic, social and political power. “Exotic” and ‘Dark” women have been ascribed dubious and intriguing personalities in Western history and classical literature. Furthermore, script- and screenwriters in the “developed” world have perpetuated this attitude. In film, “Dark” women have rarely played angelic roles or portrayed characters exuding grace. As a result, it should be no wonder that women of color are coping with added layers of internalized racism that only we understand fully. And at times, it is either so internalized or painful that you do not or cannot recognize how being “Dark” impacts your life.
I am a testament to this. I have spent a great part of my life undoing the harm covert racism and objectification have done to my psyche and self-esteem. I have been able to blanket the wounds with the anecdotal quilts minority parents give their children. But these quilts, life skills for minorities, lead one down the path of forced acceptance and inconsistent pride, not a deep belief in oneself or clear understanding of the myriad of issues at hand. I have never been able to completely heal them. I have not been able to live life in true acceptance and unconditional grace.
But that is beginning to change. The more that women of every color concretely document and show of their experiences, the less isolated we are in thinking ours is a singular or personal experience. We understand it is a systemic one that is programed to diminish us. As more and more women of color are positioning themselves to effectively bring our internal struggles to light, the brighter our present and future become…the brighter everyone’s future becomes.
I am enthusiastically looking forward to seeing the following:
It is with sincere and deeply felt pride to present to you this powerful video from two of my soul sisters.