how Issa Rae & Solange made my 2016

i’m an introverted, revolutionary with outgoing tendencies & some hood & nerd in me. That’s why I had to take A Seat at the Table with my golden, awkward & Insecure self.

in the work of both Issa Rae & Solange, i see nothing but ‘authentic Black woman in her powerful, beautiful way’, unique stories that not every one can even kinda tell.

i found myself searching for answers to experiences similar to theirs that left stains on my own memory & burn marks on my flesh. artists like them really matter to my soul. they help me to take care of myself & to offer that love to others. they represent the parts of many that are constantly ridiculed, but never explored.

they represent the us that they don’t want us to vindicate & comfort, and that they indeed includes some of US, too. 

 


Issa’s narrative on the HBO hit series, Insecure, continues to resonate, daring me to be the one that they didn’t want to see come around the corner. i’m not gonna spoil the show for y’all. i never find comfort in doing so soon after a show comes out. but it took me down some roads that I didn’t want to endure through the humors of suffering & passion.

i wanted to become more of what i knew i could be after binge-watching such a real experience that i can’t see anyone challenging for its authenticity. it constantly makes me think of white people i’ve encountered who tried to vilify my or other Black people’s experiences with racism, making us out to be paranoid with these supposed isolated situations. that’s why representation matters to me. you never know who is watching & how it will impact their life because so many people try to do everything but acknowledge your struggle as a defense for their ignorance. having this entailed in a Black woman’s experience on HBO made my life because I found myself constantly saying ‘damn I was there before’ or ‘wow! I could only imagine…’ race, love, Blackness, womanness.. my God I just can’t do it all justice here.


Solange & Issa have my heart as they express experiences through their own lens, capturing not just one, but many episodes in three or thirty minutes. awkwardly, in our own little ways we come to be who we are meant. to see that process in bits among them does not make me question why Solange is the music consultant for Insecure.

i take pride in the work that i do though sometimes it pains me. i wish they didn’t touch my hair when they don’t even want to consider why i take it so seriously. it’s more than people will ever understand as Solo tells the world.

i’ve loved & hurt all the same. i explore this in my poetry series, The Words That Make Me.


my fiancé notices similarities & blurts them out when we watch shows like it together or listen to certain music. i never questioned these comparisons like those from others who didn’t know me.

their stories, or at least the bits that i think we know, have echoed in the ears of many. digest this Black woman magic because it is here to stay. It is reality. It is hurtful. but it is

i’m glad I took a look again in that mirror yet again.

this is why I am excited for 2017 though I am terrified as my journey in communications continues. knowing & sulking in the fact that some people will never try to understand me cannot be a part of this journey any longer.

like I tell myself we can cower or fight the fight we keep on running from.


i can’t wait to see what the cast does next in Season 2 though, y’all. please watch the first. way more than worth it.


But I had to do it. I had to take a seat because I got tired of pretending to want those things that others wanted so badly for me. Got tired of taking advice from those who don’t know what it takes to get where i’m headed but can seem to criticize the route i drew out.

I’ve ‘made it’ by taking risks for myself by the grace & power of Black feminine magic. I needed to explore those parts of me that i neglected, to quench my thirst for freedom in struggle.

there it was.

all in me.

all in my strides.


I have a Black woman body, a love for Black culture and an a disdain for anything that tries to stunt it.


Solo painted her experience, broke down her feelings by offering us a piece of herself, creating something for us. to be Black can deprive people of the life they deserve. that is fact. that can manifest in so many ways through failures & successes. to be awkward & Black may bring on some unwarranted negativity among beautiful aspects. being Black, a woman & awkward guarantees all of that.


Solo’s  music struck me. it made me get real with myself.

to have a Black woman express such rawness with creative genius coming from all angles with legends throughout, complementing gold.

Issa’s creation made me laugh/cry at mine & her pain while trying to figure it all out.


i wanted to be free that morning before i started the prefect retreat in boarding school. standing that mirror with my afro out to wear outside for the first time in that state, a wash-&-go. i was terrified.

my mama refused to let me get a perm because she thought it was beautiful, but still somehow it was too dry. somehow family made it seem as if i needed a perm on the other side of it.

to be told to be grateful for the Black in me but being told on the other hand that I was ‘getting too dark’ at track practice made me wonder, what the hell does that even mean?


as I continue my journey, I hope to get closer to myself & others who want to build in Blackness.


finding beauty in us is my favorite pastime.

fighting in the name of our Blackness is just the love that pours out of my heart for our people.

seeing people come into their confidence and their glow is power & uplifting.

riding on that wave to self-love, unity & freedom?

priceless.


@endlessrebel

shaunteris@gmail.com

shaunteris

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