Jillisblack - Speaking Truth
I just learned about Jillisblack and OMG! This person speaks so much truth. So much of MY truth
Writing about myself publicly is hard. Not because I don’t have the words, but because it’s hard to know what words I’m allowed to use. It’s hard because I feel a responsibility to other people about how I express myself. And it’s hard because I worry about inviting danger in my life for daring to speak.
I struggle to talk about Black men because my partner is white. I struggle with confronting the misogynoir I deal with because its often ignored by everyone except other Black women. My hair, my skin, my choice whether to wear make-up, my weight, my job, my partner, my neighborhood, my education…all politicized, all negative in some way because the society I live in is hatful and toxic for Black women.
I live in close proximity to whiteness, another complicating factor. And it’s because of my learned anti-Blackness. It’s the shit that tells me that I should only live near a certain kind of Black person. It’s the fact that being a Black woman exercising her humanity in a patriarchal racist society is fucked up as hell. And hard as shit to do.
It is something I'm still learning to understand. I know it's toxic but I didn't understand how toxic it was because that's what I was taught was success. This constant poisoning is what I learned was normal. It was what my parents survived and tried to teach me how to survive.
It's normal for me to ignore ignorant shit white people and men do. It's normal for me to hide my emotions behind blandly, smiling expressions to keep everyone comfortable. It's normal for me to be silent. It's normal to listen to people say mean, derogatory shit about Black people and Black women and then say nothing. It is normal to know that I can never talk about the things that matter to me with white people or men...so much that in the beginning of my relationship, I fucking felt bad for forcing my S.O. to talk about any of it.
I felt bad for revealing anything about myself. For sharing myself and my experiences. For being human. And sometimes I still feel bad because I won't socialize with his friends and family or invite them to my home. We had a party and I felt like I had to compromise on inviting known enemies into my personal space. I’ve removed people from my life because it’s just too toxic to deal with their bullshit.
And yet, I can never truly be free of it. Every day I actively compromise on how much toxicity I will live with. Not whether I'll live with it, but what limits I'm ALLOWED to set to protect myself.
There aren’t many. There are more than there used to be, and to set those limits, I must do an abundance of research to learn just how much of a limit it actually is. Who is this company? What do they invest in. Are they Black-owned? Do they contribute to social causes?
It’s a lot of work being a self-loving Black woman.
Anyway, Jillisblack just gave me life with this truth, so I thought I’d share it.