The first time I saw a naming ceremony in person was in Tallahassee. A young couple presented their first born son to a community of elders, peers, and children and charged us to be his collective guiding force, protector, and reminder…
We have to defend ourselves to and from society-at-large. We have to defend ourselves separately to and from White men and women. And, we have to defend ourselves to and from our would-be protectors, Black men.
But, the absolutely hardest challenge of being a Black Girl is defending ourselves to and from other Black females. If we don’t support, uplift, understand, empathize with, and love each other, then dammit, we’re doomed.
Every single time we publicly disparage, criticize, and judge each other, or detach ourselves from each other, we give consent to the world to continue in our dehumanizing. It is much easier to kill and oppress something you don’t view as human or equal. We are accomplices in our own spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical genocide every time we put our business in the streets and air our dirty laundry. The world is watching. We teach them how to treat us by our example when we respond to each other.
Of course we are flawed and we should critically analyze and seek to understand each other. But, we should do it in our private quarters, within our sister circles, and in our proverbial Tea Rooms if you will. It should not be done in our public Facebook statuses or on television, blogs, or posted comments to each other.
We need to afford each other the human right to be tragically flawed and still live for redemption. The world rips that from us and moves it further from our grasp every time we show disunity. You can scold me with love and tell me my slip is showing with a Spirit of love in our private, sacred spaces as long as you hold my hand when we face the world.
Regardless of the act, because we are so splintered, fractured, and broken almost beyond repair, our first response to other Black females should always be empathy. I pledge to never knowingly publicly disparage, judge, or criticize any Black Girl. Not ever. I’ll take no parts in our dehumanizing. Any critical analysis or critiques in jest will be done in the Tea Room. You can meet me there.