What “Carefree Black Girl” means to me

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I would like to explain how important being a carefree black girl is to me. The Carefree Black Girl Movement encourages black women to be themselves. It encourages us to love our kinks, our noses, our lips, our bodies. It encourages us to love our personalities, the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we dress. It encourages us to love and support other black women. We can rise above the negative images that the media attempts to instill in our heads. We are not angry black women. We are not Jezebels. We are not mammies. We are not baby mamas. We are not welfare queens.  We are women. We are human.

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When I was in middle school, I began to love classic rock. I would listen to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, etc. I kept it private like it was something to be ashamed of. I didn’t want to seem weird to my classmates. I thought that it was only normal for black people to listen to r&b and hip hop. I thought that there was a certain way to be black. I perpetuated stereotypes of my own race. I grew up being told that I acted like a white girl. Other black kids would tell me I talked “white”. They would tell me that I dressed “white”. That I danced like a white person. I used to think that I wasn’t black enough. I believed that there was only one way to be black. Instead of talking the way I normally talked, I would try to mimic the way the “cool” kids talked. I thought I was “lame” because I couldn’t afford to buy Jordan shoes, Nike jackets, and Michael Kors purses. This lasted throughout middle school and high school until senior year.

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Senior year was when I noticed the carefree black girl movement. I saw black women who weren’t afraid to be who they are. They dressed the way they wanted. They talked the way they wanted. They danced the way they wanted and listened to whatever music they wanted to. It inspired me. It made me realize there’s nothing wrong with who I am. I am a black woman. I don’t have to change myself to prove that. I like to wear my hair natural. I like to  wear braids and weaves. I buy clothes that I like, not what everyone else likes.  Sometimes I dance offbeat and awkwardly. Sometimes I twerk and Milly Rock. I listen to different music genres. A little pop. A little classic rock. A lot of hip hop and r&b. I think of myself as quirky. I’m also feisty and bossy. But, I’m still a caring and sensitive person too. I feel that the carefree black girl movement is about being unapologetic. It’s about destroying the ideas of what a black woman is “supposed” to be. Yes, we are still affected by racism, sexism, and many other things that affect us personally. But we won’t let that stop us from being proud. Stereotypes and labels won’t bring us down. We love each other and we love who we are. We will not be shamed for using slang. We will not be shamed for talking “proper”. We will wear our clothes the way we want. We will wear our hair the way we want. We will dance anyway we want. We can be bossy. We can be loud. We can be shy. We can be eccentric. We will be ourselves and we won’t be apologizing for it.

 

 

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