The Life Of A Dangerous Black Girl-Lie #1: You Are Too Much

The most vicious lie you can tell a Black girl is that she is ‘too much.’

In the 39 years I have been on the planet, I have neither been explained what exactly is the criteria for being ‘too much’, nor have I been advised that being a good thing! So, what is too much? What does to mean to be ‘too much’? But there is a criteria to this! There is a reason that the world loves to call a girl they cannot deal with, who does not conform, a problem. She is a problem, because there is no archetype to the type of woman that she is. Rather than look at the gift that is femininity and ambition, it is the former that is seen the thing that is the aberration. The thing, this entity inside of her that must be stomped out, questioned, ignored or erased on every hand! 

We know the memes and quotes about the ‘quieting women.’ But there is a quote that I hold close to my chest about this idea of being ‘too much.’ The quote goes like this: “Black women will always be too loud for world that never intended to hear them.” We will always be too loud. Too vocal. Too angry. Too quiet. Too smart. Too…Black. We will always be too much. Yet, we go on anyway don’t we? Yet, there is something about this ‘too much.’ There is this indignity that comes with being called this, being classified as this. There are different types of scarlet letters–this I have seen myself. Black women are pushed into cookie cutter molds that cut pieces of us away! We are constantly pushed into these molds which are neither designed by us, or designed for us. Erasure is habit for Black women and girls! It has become easier to tell a girl what she is not, rather than confirm what she is!

What is she?

Can she not be both Black and ambitious?

Black and aware of her Blackness?

Can she not be what she determines outside of the gaze of an unaware public?

It is easier to assign ‘too much’ to a woman that you have no idea how to handle. This is a stigma, a warning to any other less-than man that wanted to be with her—but has no idea what that means? Too much as a woman, means there will be/are a certain type of man that will believe by the justification of his sex–and the superiority that only a phallus can grant–that you should accommodate this inadequacies with the lessening of yourself! And they become indignant when you do not, will not, shall never diminish for their comfort? As Eartha Kitt said, “Compromise? Compromise for what? Respect has to be earned!” Cersei Lannister said you have to earn a Queen–and she will always be whom she is. If you cannot chase her, if she dismisses you because you were not enough–admit that! A woman will always be ‘too much’ for a man that never intended on being enough for her.

Women whom are ‘too much’ change the world–because the world wouldn’t change for them.

No-Knocking In A Rose Garden

Thunder and lightning came in

the morning while in the

arms of her love.

When safe, only moment and minutes before.

Life before, sweet and deep

after being loved as

deep as the ocean caresses beach,

making 2 into 1 and 1 into 2

before falling into the arms

of safety in those arms–

held there by breadth and depth of love.

Thunder and lightning flashes come,

breaking the peace of twilight with

the battering ram of noon sun, taking

this rose for her garden, snatching bloom

and stem, leaving thorns while the garden burns.

White the thorns pierce…

While the fire burns.

While the thunder and lightning

leave and suddenly as it has come–

leaving love to try and save the

roses before the life in it fades.

Needing the rescue of rain,

Only to be embraced by

The rush or tears in the soil of what was.

But there are seeds,

There were seeds.

Where there was one rose lost,

there are more coming…

Yet, the rose planted, is still gone.

Lost, found and irreplaceable–

and ignored bu the weeds,

fed by the tears.

-JBHarris, June 2020

(*-For Breonna Taylor. We remember. We will never forget.)

For The Superhero, Yamiche Alcindor

WeLoveYamiche Trends After Donald Trump Accuses Reporter of Asking ...
I love this woman. I love her like I love ‘Auntie’ April D. Ryan.

When I began to follow Yamiche Alcindor a couple years ago via MSNBC, I loved her swag. I loved how she couldn’t be rattled, her make-up was always together, and there was a roar in her voice! That roar was distinct, and clear and rang of “but when you get through, I still said what I said!”

I love Yamiche!

This week? This week right here? This week made me love her all the more. When she stood up in that South Lawn and confronted The Orange Idiot about his shenanigans as it related to this COVID-19 situation? I shouted in my WHOLE writer self! I felt all the ancestors as she kept asking her question! Everytime she opened her mouth and said, “My question is,” “…but my question is,” “My question is…”

He tried to over talk her. Didn’t work.

He tried to belittle what she did. Didn’t work.

He tried to gaslight her, saying he was doing a good job and she needed to be nice to her. She still called him on his madness! It was glorious! It strenghtened me! And it made me love her so much more!

I am all the way here and PARALLEL PARK for Yamiche Alcindor!

Reporter Yamiche Alcindor reacts to Trump's 'nasty' comment
Ha ha! Get him sis!

I know this man hates women. He hates women he cannot buy. He hates women that are competent and clothed! He hates strong women –and hates to be questioned. Yamiche, in all her Black girl roar and splendor, told his man, “But when you get through, my question is!” Most insecure men whom are empowered by evil systems of government (i.e. toxic patriarchy, white supremacy, racism, bigotry) hate women whom are able to be in a position to question anything! Have y’all seen the Handmaiden’s Tale?!

This exchange she had with this Naked Emperor, proved just that. And it proved just how powerful women in spheres of influence are! She proved that bigots can’t own what they do, and they hate being questioned, confronted, neither can they be expected to be honest! I am here for Yamiche. HERE FOR HER!

In a poem that I wrote 3 years ago, I wrote the phrase ‘I am she, She are we.’ The phrase has not been more apparent than it is right now. In the lives of the women I see moving, doing, and shaking in media:

Jemelle Hill.

April D. Ryan.

Yamiche Alcindor.

I am grateful that this Black Girl Magic is transferable. It is ancestral. It is potent and unstoppable. I need Yamiche to keep going, I need her to remember she is a whole locomotive powered by the Almighty whom gave us Ida Bell Wells Barnett, Shirley Chisolm, Corretta Scott King, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Lorriane Hansberry, and every other female writer/journalist/activist whom was appointed for just such a time as this.

Yamiche, with this exhange, is the manifestation of Nikki Giovanni quote: If the Black women wasn’t born, she’d have to be invented.” When you get done, we are still here–immovable like tree roots, still and deep as ocean water. There wasn’t a time where a Black woman wasn’t involved in something great, in a turbulent time, or called upon to be She-Ra if she wasn’t one already! Yet, if she needs it–she can exhale, knowing her help is coming.

And is already here.

Get ’em Yamiche!