for when you're not a carefree black girl

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it they said. Say?

Regardless of who said what, what happens when the load gets to be too much and you can't find a position that helps? When switching from shoulder to shoulder, back to front, side to side, no longer helps? When you can't escape the fear, the pain, the weight of it all? What happens then? What am I to do then?

When the only thing that seems to help is hiding out in the house you grew up in, waiting for someone to check in. Praying that someone will hear the unspoken pain and fear behind your eyes that your voice can't hide.

Fear that your black excellence doesn't matter. Fear that they'll lynch you too. Fear that everything you were told to believe in is irrelevant. Fear that God, as you knew Her, doesn't exist anymore - was just a farce they made up to keep you enslaved. Fear that no one sees, feels, understands. Fear that the world doesn't, never did, and never will "get" you. But not just "get," love, understand, appreciate, value, all that your people do and have done.

The ancestors feel far away. And I'm not sure how to, or if I should sing in this strange land. This land that was built on the backs of my grand, great-grand, great-great, and great-great-greats. Because like it or not, this is the only home I've ever been unfortunate enough to know.

What is one to do when it feels like the whole world hates you? For nothing other than the color of your skin. For daring to exist outside the lines of what little colored girls like you are supposed to. When it hits you from all sides and everything feels like a battle. When you are no longer sure if dreams still matter, exist, come true.

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. Carried it?

I refuse to be another strong black woman that carries the weight of the world at the expense of herself, myself, ourselves.

I'm not carrying this load anymore. Not carrying anything I didn't pick up and fashion as my own.

"You can write me down in history, with your bitter twisted lies. But still, like dust, I'll rise."

Gabrielle HickmonComment