Monday, November 10, 2008

Say It Loud...

I remember the amazement that I could actually read by the time I turned 4.

I remember the astonishment when I was "booted" from Kindergarten and sent to the 1st grade because I was bored.

I remember the day I "realized" I was Black, but didn't think it mattered...as a matter of fact.

I remember a classmate asking why I was ashy. I remember the expressions on faces when my wet hair turned tangly.

I remember the slumber party when the makeup was too bright...I also couldn't successfully style my hair on that night.

I remember the day I "realized" I was Black, but didn't think it mattered...as a matter of fact.

I remember the friend's cousin who wouldn't share my sled. God forbid my color rub off and assume his skin instead.

I remember being taunted and teased for being smart. Of course our socio-economic status set us apart.

My violin was a no-no and "white music" did I dare? When I bobbed my head to Bon Jovi all my friends did was stare.

I remember the day I "realized" I was Black, but didn't think it mattered...as a matter of fact.

I remember the assimilation by association phase...my friends said I was White.

I remember being teased at a dance because I did the Running Man right.

I baffled the masses because I wore Hammer Pants...but my White friends thought I was cool...especially because I taught them to dance!

I remember the day I "realized" I was Black, but didn't think it mattered...as a matter of fact.

I remember the day I began to have hips, ass and thighs too...ooh and those full lips.

I remember the day they stopped teasing me...my Black friends in High School were as proud as could be.

I remember the day I graduated in gold...a 4.134 GPA...what a story to be told.

I remember the day I was the only Black person in the top of my class...I remember my REAL friends applauding me as I passed.

I remember how being Black earned me money for school...and how that combined with academics was a valuable tool.

I remember the day I "realized" I was Black, but didn't think it mattered...as a matter of fact.

I now laugh it off when Black people call me Bougie. When White people applaud me for being articulate, I let it be.

I have a perm in my hair and wear weave if I please...but, I appreciate the cocoa butter I have to put on my knees.

I love chicken and greens...how about some chitterlings too? But watermelon's not my favorite...imagine that...can you?

I remember the day I "realized" I was Black, but didn't think it mattered...as a matter of fact.

I love sharing history with my children and all my stories too. I tell them they're beautiful because you know what? It's true.

I watch movies like "Rosewood," "Glory Road," and "The Color Purple," and realize how far we have come.

Each thread of our history...be not undone.

I look at MY new president and feel a hodge podge of things...and cannot explain the joy that it brings.

Martin Luther King Jr., oh what would he say? Did you see Jesse Jackson's reaction? Would he react that way?

What would Rosa Parks say? How about good old Abraham? How about Kennedy, Ulysses and the rest of the fam?

We've come leaps and bounds but have quite a way to go. But we have our courage, love, faith, and our integrity in tow.

And to this day, you know what? I'm proud that I'm BLACK...and know that it matters...as a matter of fact.

32 comments:

NoRegrets said...

Oh, how wonderful.

Skoolboi Krush said...

Very nice. Cocoa Butter for those knees, huh? LOL

Tera said...

NoR~Thanks...I was feeling a bit sentimental this morning :)

Skoolboi~And you know thissss....Man!

Churlita said...

That was awesome. I love it. I lived a lot of years in the opposite situation. I even had a friend who told me she didn't like White people, and that I had to be part Black because look at my nose and my hair, and she actually liked me.

I can't wait for the day when none of that really matters anymore at all.

M. Robert Turnage said...

I'm always happy to read your blog, but posts like this make me especially glad I do so.

Tera said...

Churlita~Thanks! And seriously? Wow, that rationalization from your friend has me...well uh...speechless!

Amen Sister :)

MrT~Awww garsh...thanks! :)

Nance said...

I hope you ahare this part of your story with your kids, too! They should see your talent and the journey of YOUR life and how it parallels not only our new president's, but the path of so many others'. It is honest, inspirational, and very personal for not only you, but them also.

NoRegrets said...

What Nance said.

Nina said...

Power to the People!!

Ok, seriously, great post! I can remember people telling me, "Nina, I don't think of you as being black..." But the sad part is that I USED to think that was a compliment. I know BETTER now, I just wish it wouldn't have taken me so long to get it. Sigh.

heather said...

seriously well written. :)

Tera said...

Nance~I am about to read this to them right now :) We also had our "official" family dinner/celebration of Obama's victory tonight...we even toasted sparkling cider!

Nina~Better later than never! :)

Heather~Thank you...seriously :)

T. Michelle Theus said...

I love it...that was beautifully written :)

Tera said...

T~Thanks girl :)

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

YES, YES, YES!!!

This was a beautiful poem...as a matter of fact, I'm thankufl for being Black :)

Tera said...

BCU~Thank you...and Amen Sistah :)

Tera said...

***Test***

Nina said...

nice lips.

Tera said...

Why thank you Nina :)

NoRegrets said...

yes. smokin'

Tera said...

Pamela aka NoR~Stop it......no really....go on! :)

Scott said...

I've never treated a black person the way you've been treated by other whites, and it's so sad to hear about. I can't imagine what that was like. I have been picked on for other things though. I was called gay for being sensitive, and I got knocked around by bullies for being tall (and skinny).

All I can say is that we have come a long way, and that my children are raised to respect all people.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

i always knew i was black. and i too started 1st grade when i was 4 and college at 16

Alan said...

GIIIIIIIRLL.....! You WROTE that?!

And those are YOUR lips?!?

Whoo.


WHOO.


Wow.

You betta work.

NoRegrets said...

I don't see my name in a post...sigh.
I have to think of a lip nickname for you...

Tera said...

Scott~That is fantastic! And great to hear...the teasing sucked. I guess it's not all bad, because that gives us first-hand the lesson about how that feels and how NOT to treat others!

Torrance~Uh, I'm pretty sure that I knew I was black, LOL! It's just that I didn't "realize" those things inherent until certain events in my life occured :-)

Alan~I spoke from my heart. And yes Dear, those are my lips...and I love, love, LOVE them...I try ;-)

NoR~Great...I can't wait!

Oh yeah, I was going to post that today, but I think I'll wait until Monday...stay tuned :)

NoRegrets said...

Oh, fine, I guess I'll stop chcking your blog every 10 minutes.. :-)
I'mmmm so vaaainn.....
Oh, and my word verification is spacy.

Pamela said...

It's Monday.
FIRST blog I looked at this morning. sigh.

Anali said...

Beautiful poem!

Tera said...

Anali~Thank you Girl! :)

dmarks said...

Quite interesting and eye-opening!

Shawn said...

Definitely an interesting read and I think one that people who don't recognize color matters, need to read.

I like, my only gripe is I didn't get to read it sooner...

Tera said...

Shawn~You think so? I vividly remember that day...I poured out my soul! And hey, it's better late than never! :-)