“Success is it’s own language.” -LL Cool J
This week was fortifying, family. It affirmed my gift and this talent and this knack I have for language. My 4700 English class has gotten through the marshy nature of Robert Frost, we are moving on to Lucille Clifton. In my 3800 class (the class where I has to finish the last 160 pages of BELOVED in 10 hours complete with reading notes), we are moving on to Ellison and Baldwin. I damn near wept in my Thursday 4700 class.
The representation, the claiming of that free self as Morrison says, is monumental.This week encouraged me that I and do this—better than I thought I could. Better than I thought (thought!) I ever could. I have been analyzing words, work and language my entire 38 years! This degree is a culmination of this. No more, no less.
But one thing I had to confront was being vocal in class.
I had an issue in class where I knew answers and had keen analysis to several topics, and remained silent. Why? I didn’t want to be seen as the smart (read: uppity) Black girl. Now mind you, I have been the smart, uppity, Black girl for my entire education. But this time, in my 3800 class–I said nothing. I had internalized that processing which said “don’t show off, don’t answer everything.” Not quite a dumbing down, but damn near!
When I recognized that, I had to snatch it from my psyche! I had to uproot it because it was, IS, toxic to anything I could and would create. I had to remind myself that I was worthy to be visible in this space–intelligent enough to be intersected in this space.
I can be Black.
I can be woman.
I can be vocal.
I can be seen.
I can be intelligent.
I told myself I would never do that again. I vowed I would never humble my tongue in this class again–the white girls didn’t! Even when they were wrong!
This week reminded me as free as I like to think I am, I have to remember I still have a way to go.