I am 37. I am young, gifted and Black. I have also been told that I am descended from a family ‘too’s.’
I’m too smart.
I’m too loud.
I’m too driven.
I’m too ambitious.
Which is why when I heard Viola Davis say the phrase “Stop taming us?” I felt the same way I felt when saw Captain Marvel basically go hypersonic, and tear up that enemy spaceship to protect Earth!
I felt that I had been seen, understood and affirmed.
What I have learned in my almost 4 decades on planet Earth, is that people love classifications.
They love categories.
They like to be able to group, change and identify things (or people) they feel are interesting or strange. Ambitious women, especially ambitious minority women, are just that. Black women, especially, suffer from this systemic identification. There was a quote from the glory of the internet that says:
“Black women will always be too loud of a world never intent on listening to them.”
For all my prowess and intelligence, I still have people that I know love me that wish I would ‘do a little less.’ That I shouldn’t want to own the platforms I post on. That I shouldn’t have the vision that I do. I ‘should just write and not worry about anything else right now.’ That I should pace myself.
Yeah, about that? Fuck that.
I work at the clip that I do because there was time where the words wouldn’t come because I was shattered. There was a time where the words were alien, and bitter and were enigmas.
Once my heart was healed, the words overtook. My vision restored and by God, I was not going to be dictated to by people who were not and will not be doing half of what I’m doing!
So, no I’m not going to ease up!
No, I’m not going to listen to nay sayers, haters and the trolls, crows, cows or chickens that desire to stop me. Seeing since they cant’t out pace me.
I refuse to be tamed, because I have taken too long to burn! When I was 23, I got a tattoo on Black of the Japanese kanji for Phoenix. This was a nod to my sister, Ashley: whom I admire more than she thinks I do; and whom I am not truly worthy to call a little sister. Octavia Estelle Butler, herself ‘a rare bird’, says that in order for a Phoenix to live, it first must burn.
I have come too far, to have someone tell me to stop.
I write for the Oracles in West Africa whom I will never meet. For the Kings and Queens of whom I am daughter, benefactor and granddaughter: whom forged courses with whit and faith. I create for the conjure women I am descended from whom could not read. For my enslaved foreparents whom had the stories beat out of them. Or were killed for daring to say what was a lie!
I breathe fire because my great-great-great grandparents and my beloved father and mother, walked through fire to get me here!
I know women like me and my ilk scare you. I know we’re loud. I know the drive frightens you. The fact we curse, say ‘No’, and make our own spaces and taketh no isht makes you clutch your pearls.
But saddle up buttercup. We ain’t going no where.
We are coming for everything they said we couldn’t get, with the mantra of:
If you don’t let me in the front door, I’ll do around back. If that’s locked, I’ll buss a window and jump in.