My name is Michelle, I was born in Oakland, California. My parents are immigrants to this country, making me a first generation born in the U.S. My mother is from Brazil, my father is from Mexico, making me, trilingual. I received my bachelor’s from San Francisco State University, in Anthropology with an emphasis in culture and language. I was a preschool teacher for about 6 years, until I decided to fall face first into my passion; writing. I currently host a blog titled Curls and Words.
Personal Website: https://www.curlsandwords.com
“You’re not black or dark enough to even be black”
“I’m darker than you”
“yellow bone, how are you even black?”
I’m not Black enough,
I’m not Latina enough.
Not American enough.
Tell that to my mother.
Whose skin is the color of smooth milk chocolate,
That glistens in the hot Brazilian sun.
Tell that to her, when she was a young girl, being teased
for the color of her skin color.
Tell that to her, as she works 3-4 separate jobs, just to say afloat.
Tell that to her face, as she works and speaks louder
Just so she is heard, and seen.
In this country. America
Tell that to my Grandfather,
A tall, deep voiced, heavy handed, big man,
Whose skin color glows, and sparkles from sweat, as he puts together, brick by brick
The walls of the house he built with his bare hands.
Or better yet, tell that to my grandmother, who birthed 8
Beautiful human beings, fed them, taught them. And educated them,
on the creation and pride of their African ancestry,
After her children run to her, crying, because they’ve been bullied,
For having thick nappy hair, and a darker skin complexin.
Tell that to my ancestors,
Whose spirits and power have paved the way to protect me.
So that I can tell their stories.
Tell that to my hair, who on a good day is wild, and free
and big enough to tell you the stories of how she
Was told she was too nappy, too ugly,
Too thick, too black.
I’m not black enough?
At one point in time, the one drop rule..
Pertaining to the one drop of beautiful black, African ancestry blood
Would make me hated by so many.
I have to prove my blackness?
Tell me I’m not American enough,
For the accent I have,
The hair, nose, freckles and skin.
Tell me I’m not American, but yet I was born and raised in Oakland, California.
I was born in this country,
Went to schools in this country,
Was educated and graduated.
Tell me I’m not American, when I teach your children,
On equality, justice and love.
My community, unity.
Tell me I’m not black,
Tell me I’m not Latina,
Because I speak Portuguese,
My hair is curly.
My mother is black and Brazilian.
My father is Mexican.
And I don’t fit an aesthetic norm,
A normalized standard of what “Latina looks like”.
Tell me I’m not Black, Latina, American.
I stand on the steps created,
By those who have fought, and
Screamed, against inequality and for Justice
I will forever represent a community that is me.
But you wouldn’t know all of this, without speaking to me first.
So this is my story.
I am enough.
I am black.
and I am proud.
#Blackness #Afrolatina #AfroBrazilian #Latinidad #Pride
Daughter of the African diaspora.
Daughter of Yemanja,
Daughter of Africa,
Daughter of forced voyages,
of forced work,
pain and anger.
Daughter of Catholicism.
Daughter of warriors, kings and queens.
Daughter of biculturalism.
I am a product of my environment,
As I stand still,
in front of a tall and beautiful sunflower,
I can’t help but think of my ancestors,
I am here, today,
#African #Daughters #Immigrants #Diaspora #Ancestry
Mãe de Água
Mother of water.
She dances on the surface,
Of the ocean.
She is the ocean.
She protects you,
Watches over you.
She is a force.
#Ocean #Mermaid #Queen #Deity #Culture