2.13.2013

DISCOVER ME / 1

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Not sure what avenue this post will lead to, but I'm taking the ride any how.
I was presented with a blogger award, by one of my 
readers and one of the requirements was to tell you all
7 things that you may not know about me. 
The blog has been around for 4 years, so I'm not 100% sure 
of what I have omitted and divulged. 
Sporadically, I will release a few nuances that 
you might not find out unless you are in my world. 
And because I try to be transparent here, I'm having a tough time
coming up with a neatly numbered list. 
So here goes....

#1
Rarely, do I feature 
something this powerful or politically driven. 
But it struck me to the core. Why?
Because I am a woman first and foremost. 

For the majority of my life, I have received a look of shock and wonder 
when I initially meet someone for the first time. 
I have never done a video, so many of you haven't heard my voice.
Sometimes it's a pleasant surprise, but from what I can remember
about my adolescence, into my teenage years, and now into my 20s 
I have gotten the blunt question,
"why do you talk/act so....white!!??" 
Yes... believe it. 
Obviously this would come from someone that is not Caucasian
and is usually from an African-American person. 
(side note: I am of Haitian-Dominican-Cuban-Bahamian decent
---like a Caribbean jambalaya) 

My answer to the ignorance of this type 
of question is usually an awkward laugh, 
followed by a familiar and exhaustive eye roll. 
In recent years it has grown into an explanation of my desire
to be understood when I am speaking.  To carry myself with 
dignity, as my immigrant turned citizen grandmother and grandfather didn't work 
hard to remain here, just so their granddaughter could be 
looked over and grouped with the "rest" 
(whenever my grandmother visited during the school year, 
she would tell me before I left the house, 
"Don't follow the crowd." and kissed me goodbye. So I didn't)
I didn't dress like the rest, talk like the rest (i tried hard at one point and failed miserably) 
and simply didn't follow the rest. 
 Of course this was greeted with harsh criticism, that I so beautifully 
internalized and masked for the sake of not seeming overly emotional. 

As I grew older, I continued to wrestle with
people's identity crisis with me. 
An affirming thought escaped me during a conversation I had with my 
husband about this topic. 
 I said, "The way you revolutionize the image of a black woman 
is to eliminate the stereotypes of being black and just let her be a woman." 
 What makes us bond is not the similarity of our complexions, 
but the fact that we know what it feels like to 
take our bra or thong off at the end of the day.  
The feeling of victory when we find a bobby pin or an elastic in 
the bottom of our bag on a rainy, bad hair day.
When our period arrives there is a sigh of relief or a for some a silent cry, 
but the last day marks the end of the doom. 
In essence, it's the fear of the lump, the dull razor blades, the pap smears, 
the run in the stockings on the way to an interview, or 
the lipstick on your teeth on the first date.  
It goes far beyond the paleness or the deepness. 
The skinny or the curved.  The  silky or the kinky.
What it is not is the abandonment of my culture, nor am I shameful. 
If anything, I speak the way I do out of pride that we as a gender can finally do so. 
So I can assuredly tell you how I feel 
and ensure it is heard and understood. 

This poet so eloquently speaks for many of the women (and men) that
have had to answer the same question. 


Hope you learned a little bit more about me....
that was kind of a doozy.
If you have any particular questions feel free to shoot em to me at
rkitekt{dot}kc{at}gmail{dot}com

---Kel




4 comments:

  1. My my my at that second video. Just...wow.
    I also tell people who want to put me in a race box that I'm a woman FIRST. And always. Great post, Kel. Great post!

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    1. Hiya!!

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed!

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  2. OMG Kel! Just when I thought you've wowed me! Now I feel blasted!!

    I stopped by a few days ago and saw the first video and I thought man! This is so cool, why am I only seeing it for the first time?! So I shared it on my personal Fb page on Valentine's day, as it is a day that promotes love.

    On your second video, Yes! And on your thoughts: touching, relatable, and very well said.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Jane!

      Thanks so much! Yeah the woman video is crazy powerful! love it!

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