to Black Women
By Nikki Blakely, Prisonersolidarity.org
July 1, 2006
raped me," is what she wanted to say, but it sounded more like
she asked for it. "I never took nothing from her," is
what we often hear, but the truth of the matter is never so clear.
"I want my virginity, dignity and childhood back," is
what we hear, but what we see are young mothers being tailed by
one, two, three or more children, maybe with different fathers.
They (society) say nothing good will come of that life. And why?
did we stop and forget about the ladies? Yes, I said ladies: wives,
girls, daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers. However you
see fit to address her, she is still female, a derivative of the
male and a cut above the rest. She has a beautiful, natural complexion,
and has no need for makeup. She is made up of all shades, from brown
to black, and possesses almond-shaped eyes, sharp cheekbones, maintained
locks, full lips, and curves. Her unique ways are something for
the eyes to behold. You could think about her all day long, but
you don't. For she was once property when married or with master,
and she was a slut when she bore a child out of wedlock. And she
was defiant and beaten when speaking her mind. And we wonder why
she laid her life on the line.
woman, I've seen you before. You are everything I'm looking for.
You hold me tight in the middle of the night. You feed me when I'm
hungry, you clothe me when I'm naked, you provide shelter for me
when you have nothing. But you are seen as a second-class citizen.
You ask for equality and the freedom to think? I think not. And
let me say this (as you walk behind me): You may not speak unless
spoken to. You may not allow yourself to be seen by another man's
eyes. And why? Why? Because you are mine. And we wonder why your
life lays on the line.
are just some of the things black women have endured for the sake
of freedom and independence. Why is it that a black woman is questioned
when she gets a good education, waits to have a family or stays
pure (celibate), and follows the path of faith? Women of color have
taken the backseat and the brunt for too long. We've had to stand
up when we've wanted to sit down, we've had to be quiet when we
wanted to speak, we've taken a fist or a slap when we didn't deserve
such treatment. But we've also stood the test of time. We've accomplished
the impossible, weathered storms, attained the out of reach, and
have been the proud heads of families that span generations. Why
have our lives lain on the line?
look around my kitchen and long to see her, the black woman who
molded me. But as I look around, all I see is me. I can feel her
touch as she holds me close (never letting go). Her sisters still
watch over me. They are the voices I hear in the community and the
black women I see in positions of power. Now that I have grown to
become a member of this prestigious sorority, I am a BLACK WOMAN
just as she, and proud to be free. Where women often get pushed
to the back, I tend to stand off to the side. She taught me that.
She said, "When others follow to the letter, you must learn
to adapt that letter to your chain. I have learned, and today I
am a vision of all that society fears: I have freedom, education,
and a heart that gives all year long. I am my elders' dreams come
to life, that is, I am that little girl who learned how to fight.
What I contribute to my society is that which has been taken for
granted: I am a BLACK WOMAN.
be a Rosa Parks can be a tall order. To be equated with an Oprah
Winfrey is more than big deal. To be a Harriet Tubman is a long
stretch, and to be a Madam C.J. Walker offers a lot of sex appeal.
For us, today, to be what any black woman ever was is a mere shadow
of our legacy.
stand proud to be a motherless child. For she was there with a smile
when I needed her. To say "motherless" does not mean that
I was alone, but she accepted me into the sisterhood before her
motherhood took over. And now that I am a woman I want to give back,
because I cannot repay my elders for their time. In my everyday
efforts, I pray that I become half the woman they were - those black
women who paved my way.
you, my Queens, for your dream is my dream. Your pain is my struggle,
your unheard words are my speech, your bruised egos are what drive
me, and your strong foundation is something I am glad to have been
touched by! Through you I will not be divided, but reunited with
all black women. For we are family, through and through.
Nikki Blakely is an Ohio resident, a self-made woman, and a
professional student with three college degrees and is two years
shy of obtaining a medical degree. She has maintained a 13-year
healthcare business and has recently opened two new businesses (massage
and wellness and a clothing line). Outside of using her professional
education to give back to her community, she longs to become a wife
Blakely has been a visible and supportive force behind her king,
Manuel McLemore, for 14 years. She has been doing a 12-year bid
alongside him every step of the way. She desires nothing more than
her king's release from captivity (prison) and their union as one.
You may contact her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org