I really, really, really love being black. I am in love with the way my skin turns glowy bronze in the 4 o'clock sun; I love the way hip hop, disco and soul makes my body feel electric; I love that the fullness of my lips is enhanced by the wide bridge of my nose; I love that my culture includes Katherine Johnson, Jackie Robinson, D'Angelo, and Goldlink; it gives me chills to see #blackgirlmagic being sprinkled all over; I love the versatility of black men and women from durags and 3-piece suits to box braids and quick weave; I love how multidimensional we can be; and I love how Boyz II Men can make a Christmas song sound like a slow jam. There is nothing like black people.

I am more appreciative of my blackness now more than ever as I didn't always realize I was black. Yes, I knew I had brown skin and African American features, but I never understood what it meant to be black. In other words, I was the dictionary definition of identity crisis. I always felt too black for the white kids and painfully too white for the black kids. Throughout middle school my nickname was Oreo, essentially a perpetrator of the black race. Throughout high school everyone's first impression was that I was stuck up, presumably because of my "white tendencies". I allowed others misunderstanding of black multiplicity to alter how I presented myself to the world. I was wrapped up in my own head trying to prove that I was black enough.  

It has been a constant, arduous, uphill battle to remember that I am who God created me to be. I am not what people have labeled me or what people project onto me. I do not have to prove anything to anyone. Though some days are harder than others, I can say that I am a more confident black girl. If you put me side by side with the girl I was 2 or 3 years ago, we would be completely different. I say all this to say that I love being black and I am going to fight as hard as I can to make sure no one makes me question who I am again. *Lifts fist in the air and lowers head*