Category: Musings

The Villain Is A Black Woman

This nation has spent the majority of her history, all of her history, getting free labor from Black women: skilled/unskilled labor, child labor, and emotional labor.

This nation does not know how to function without the suffering of Black women; us having to shrink to fit a white aesthetic, or into a white room. So many times we as Black women have to adjust to the climate of a room, to dial back our blackness, to hold our tongues, or change it in order to appease whiteness.

Yet, we know that whiteness can create nothing, but mimics everything. That which you cannot mimic—it will erase. The speed it which this nation will try and honor Black women, whether that be at the end of their lives, or posthumously, so as not to see their faces. To not honor that which they have already born life, limb and blood to accomplish, despite everything being said against them!

The Villain is always us. The villain is always us because this nation does not know what it’s like to not have a nigg3r.

Did not Baldwin in his prophetic genius warn us about this? This nation needs to reckon with why it needs such anunder class! Also, why it needs its underclass to be Black.

The villain is always Black women, because the pedestal was never made for the weightiness of blackness… It was only made to exploit it. The fact that Angel Reese is the most current victim of this country’s villainization is nothing new!

This nation, it is most important that white women protected. In order for that to be so, it must save them from savage,uppity Negresses.

Yet, who is really the savage?

Amy Garvey wrote in 1925 in her essay HISTORY IS A WEAPON that if there is any woman that is worthy of honor and respect, it is the Black woman. As quickly as black women ascend to pedestals—even if they build them out of the mud themselves!— the moment that we do not perform as the three ring, circus known as America, wants us to, it is quick to snatch us from it!

As if we are dependent upon it.

Whenever a Black woman makes her space, owns her space outside of whiteness, the moment that whiteness does not receive gratitude or believe our gratitude to be insincere, it dismisses us.

Yet, we have no need to be defined by whiteness. We have no desire to have our standard be based in whiteness! Black women are now rejecting this. The question really is, what kind of Black woman makes you safe? Because whiteness is known to kill those Black women too.

-JBH, 4.3.2023


To The First Work-Day 27

There is a subtle power to admitting you love someone. Admitting that there is a person in the world who you want to know, want the best for, and perhaps think of before yourself.

This is what we chase. This is what I strive to convey on screen, on pages, or by voice.

This thing, this power, I seek to capture, or remind the world exists.

For that cause, I write.

For that cause, I can’t give up.

To The First Work-Day 26

Motherhood has taught me how dexterous love is, and how tough it is. While I am at the end of this first leg of motherhood (my children are teenagers), I am reflecting on how many times my heart had to break and be put back together.

And for that cause am I mystified why my heart didn’t break. Through divorce, deaths, struggles co-parenting with a man I married to forget another one I couldn’t live without…

My heart kept beating.

It began to beat…for them.

While it broke for the loss of a love…it beat for them.

The responsibility of being present in their lives, being a guiding force, a safe place? It is powered by love.

I learned that a mother’s heart is its own army. Even in death, I’ll leave love with and within them.

To The First Work: Day 24

I don’t believe that you can discuss love without mentioning forgiveness–which may be the hardest thing to come to grips with. The face that human beings have equal propensity for love and destruction has been wild to me.

Beyond wild.

And yet–we have this tool of forgiveness.

This way to reconcile. To fix. To put back. To imagine a world healed and better.

How can this be so?

Love is still the roux to and for all things…and forgiveness keeps us all from bleeding out. It’s a boundary, a cushion and a parachute! Forgiveness tells me that I have a way to say, “no” and “no more.”

The trigger is being strong enough to do so.

To The First Work-Day 23

If you were to ask me when I fell in love with words, I would tell you I don’t know.

I would tell you that I fell in love with language and accents first. I fell in love with storytelling before I ever wrote a story down. I believe it is with that particular proclivity, that made room to love words.

From that, yields the roux for creativity.

Some use color to paint the world. My color has syllables.

To The First Work-Day 22

If I can get it off my head, and I can see it to deal with it.

There is a reason why I journal, why I write, and why it is I use that visible pain to write characters that are believable. I am learning to honor what I feel, how I feel, and give myself permission to do what I had not before: feel.

At this portion of my life, I have the need to honor what I emote. Even if it is just to myself.

I am learning that as I protect everyone else dear to me, I cannot neglect myself.

To The First Work-Day 21

I’m 41.

I’ll be 42 in June.

I am learning to love myself radically. Like, radically! From the sprinkling of gray hair, to the soreness in my left foot (#plantarfascitis), and yet, the fact I don’t look my age. I love the fact that I still love to dance in the mirror, still flexible, and I am enjoying my body.

I love that I can be a vixen in great heels, and comfy in my high top Chucks.

I am learning more about me as I age, and understanding what Mother Rashad said about my own self being such a treasure. It took me 4 decades to get to this point: to enjoy my own company, self, and place in the world.

I belong in the world. I add to it. It’s better with me in it.

To The First Work- Day 20

Audre Lorde said that self-preservation is a radical act.

It took me to getting to age 40, to appreciate that. When I sit still too long, I feel a pain in my left hip. Not the joint, but the tendon. It pulls at me, reminding me of my age…and that I survived COVID-19 as a PCT during the first wave of the pandemic. Then, the snowball happens.

My mind wanders…it reminds me that I am still here.

I’m a rape survivor.

I’m a survivor of domestic violence.

I’m surviving racism.

I’m surviving sexism.

And misogynoir.

I am learning to say ‘No’, and absolutely mean it. I am learning to listen to God, and His gift of intuition. I am appreciating the fact I am a survivor–in control of the story I present to the world, and I tell myself. I am looking at myself in the mirror and smiling back at the woman that is there.

She and I? We gon be alright.

To The First Work-Day 19

I haven’t turned my back on love. I don’t think that I know how. There is a part of me which is cautious and reckless when it comes to love. I am at the age where I am confident of what I want, who I am, and the caliber of relationship I want. Yet, I am still reckless enough to give into the abandon that new love brings.

I don’t think that is me being jaded –I’m a love poet. I don’t think that I have the right to be. Yet, what I do have is the realization love is still really…and can still be mine too.

I deserve a love that will be healthly.

That will not demand I break when you will never bend.

I deserve a love big enough to hold me up, keep me close, and causes me to remember how deep it goes.

Indeed, I am not built for the shallow–the forever love, wherever he is, cannot be built for the shallow either.

To The First Work-Day 18

Michael is the name of my favorite archangel.

Which is funny seeing that the most protective people I have ever dated were named, Michael. I have often wondered why that is, and what I did to attract them to me.

My childhood sweetheart: Michael.

The first guy I loved: Michael.

First man to break my heart: Michael.

The man that loved me to the point the gift of writing came back: Michael.

On some end, that’s fitting. Oddly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.