“You cannot know how well people’s bodies remember their ancestors”Octavia Butler
Everytime I cook a pot of black-eyed peas and Carolina gold rice I feel a quickening in my spirit, and I know that I have come “home”. Home for every Black woman is connecting to the essence of her femininity. Her femininity is the living, breathing manifestation of who she is by divine right and design. She exudes a powerfully subtle energy that intoxicates and mystifies everyone around her. She is both light and dark, simultaneously creating and destroying as she sees fit. She is breathtakingly beautiful, and not only because of her body, but because of her soul. She is grounded and anchored in her femininity. This is what black-eyed peas and Carolina rice does to me. Through a simple act of cooking the food my ancestors cooked and ate, I have unearthed and reclaimed the essence of femininity and the joy of black womanhood. Whatever it takes for you to reclaim your femininity and joy, you must do it. And do it often.
The unfortunate reality of being a black woman has caused us to define our strength by the ability to put up with white society’s shit. To carry the weight of the white world on our shoulders. Success is the winning of white approval and acceptance. But if this is truly success, why are Black woman so unhappy and sick? 80% of black Women are overweight or obese. We have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, fibroids, PCOS, and hysterectomies than our white female counterparts. We need a pill to fall asleep and one to make it through the day. Many of us have toxic relationships with our men and struggle to raise our children. And some of us can’t even get a man. We’re angry and embittered, depressed, and overwhelmed. What happened? The truth is, we are living a life that is in direct opposition to the reality of our DNA.
We deserve much more than this! We deserve to be free, and experience health, happiness, and wholeness. We deserve to tap into our inherent gifts and talents instead of working day in and day out in environments where our intellectual capacity is atrophied and diminished. We deserve to nurture our children and men without the constant stress and pressure of climbing a ladder or breaking a ceiling that was never ours.
Begin to look for the path our ancestresses laid for us. Listen to the messages of our mothers. Begin to dig deep to find that “something” the women before you left behind. Reclaim and redefine what it means to be a black Woman. We are more than a college degree, a career or what good school our children attend.We are more than chronic disease and a wounded Womb. We are much more than a black face drowning in a sea of white. You are a black woman who is who is going to find her way back home.