Glitter, the small flakes of wonder that appear long after you thought they were gone. Often seen as inanimate, I have come to know it as metaphorically alive, nurtured and passed on. It is not something that stops, but rather is in constant evolution as it represents the dusting of excellence and love that covers every Black woman. This dusting shows up in your memories, I'm sure, of what a Black woman said, how she helped shape your life, or simply the grace with which she entered a room. This isn't to take away from the sweat equity Black women harness but rather to recognize the indescribable that is connected to their presence and legacy.
As a child my mother reminded me every morning that I was a Black girl. She instructed me to put my shoulders in my back pocket, fix my eyes on the horizon, and give the world everything I had to give that day because anything less would not compete. It worked. I have always understood my glitter. Even in moments when I didn't feel like I had anything to give, I knew what giving my best should look like. It should shimmer in light and leave behind a little something unexpected it. It should be representative of my potential while offering 'tried and true' practices that show off my expertise.
In March 2017, I realized that my best would never suffice in some places. I noticed that even with smiles and cordial interaction many people are not cheering for me or my success. Instead they are cheering for themselves and are clear I can assist them. Nothing wrong with that, it just made me think about what my glitter should look like these days. Is being on a “team” that is not dedicated to my well being ever a part of my best work? Of course there is the bottom line, outcomes, and goals, I work hard for those. Should I reach them to my detriment? Does being a team player mean figuring out how to work with those who are indifferent to your health, well being, and progress? After prayer, advice, and lots of teamwork, it seems my best is being in a position to give my all everyday with no regrets. It means being able to stand in my skin and experience without ridicule, question, or apology. It means not having to defend why showing up as a Black woman is important. And being around those who do not push back around me making space for Black women to be loved and appreciated. Perhaps removing the constant explanation of why that is necessary in our White Supremacist society. I realized that I no longer want to argue about my value or defend myself as an intelligent woman wrapped in Black skin. I realized that was not the best use of my glitter.
So, I stopped working my jobs to find a way to walk through life with the posture my mother taught me as a child. The posture her and her mother and her grandmother have demonstrated. In a way that my aunts have always wanted for me. In doing that , Ubuntu found me. Ubuntu asked if all the glitter that had been nurtured in me was interested in growing some more? Interested in serving? Interested in the freedom to be me while I offer my skills and talents to my community? Would you accept an invitation to use your experience in freedom fighting? Are you interested in spreading your glitter?
I am here to do just that. There will be peaks and valleys. I am surely going to find myself in places that would prefer to keep glitter to a minimum because it's so hard to clean up. I am also on a team that is interested in the world being a better place while glitter is nurtured. Both ours and that with which we come in contact. So, I am here. I am here to throw glitter both unapologetically and with grace. I look forward to sharing the journey, the epiphanies, and my learning with you through this blog.
Yours in Glitter,