Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy New Year?

        Happy New Year! Did I miss the count down? Am I a bit late? Purple Rain in a Drought has been on hiatus for the last few weeks due to some unforeseen but very exciting circumstances. But I am back in the saddle and though we are six days in, it is the beginning of a new year nonetheless. My last post was about a missing young Black woman and the story has since been updated with the news that she had in fact jumped off a bridge and killed herself. My immediate response was disbelief, but I ultimately succumbed to the feeling of empathy and sadness. I'll just say it--- She was a girl of Nigerian heritage raised in America... I can rattle off a number of reasons you would want to kill yourself. No matter what she was going through I wish someone could have let her know it was going to be OK.
         2011 taught me that you will not die of utter humiliation and disgrace. Even if you feel like you will. It is tough being a Black woman in America in general but our subgroup mounds such expectations that leaves in its wake many young women suffering from clinical depression and substance abuse. Yes, that doctor/lawyer/professor/engineer/pharmacist/etc. hates herself and maybe uses something ---alcohol, drugs, sex--- to numb her pain and fear of humiliation. There are women suffering and we don't acknowledge it or trivialize their pain.
              Our male counterparts have no such pressure comparable in size or might. For example, we are all urged to marry with in our culture but Nigerian-American men don't actually marry Nigerian-American women. (I don't know any and if you do, I dare you to name 4 couples). No one calls them whores or disowns them.  I felt truly betrayed when I realized the double standard. I can't begin to tell you how dating Nigerian-Americans wrecked my feelings of worth and worthiness as I developed as a woman. I've actually been somewhat bitter about that ...I digress.

         As I start this new year and new chapter in my life I have taken inventory of all these feelings and I say fuck THAT shit. Yes, I said it. God did not bring me to this Earth to be marginalized. They can't have my life. I would say that to her...  "They can't have your life!" Well, not another. Not this year.  I want to encourage Nigerian-American females to develop a sense of self-worth from within not from the mythical expectations of our kinfolk. We aren't all given the tools but we should at least know it's possible. We don't talk about it in our community, it's a shame.

Not another life and not one minute more of mine. That's my resolution. Happy New Year.
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