For Black Girls Only

Who for too long have been told due to their skin and gender that they are not enough. For black girls only who have been given no space to call theirs or allowed to create a space of their own. For black girls only who are tired of smiling politely and laughing nervously when they are told “You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl” or asked “How do you know you don’t like men if you’ve never slept with one?” For black girls only who were born into the wrong body and refuse to accept that as ‘natural’ because it makes the binary conformists comfortable. For black girls only who identify as black because that’s who they are despite ‘passing’ as something else to the naked eye. For black girls only who are sick and tired of trying to fit into everyone else’s ideal but their own and have decided to create a space made for them, by them, governed only for and by them.


Our need to uplift each other has everything to do with uplifting each other and nothing with what we think about the people who have to not be welcome in that space. Black women are open to double prejudice; racism and sexism. The nature of these prejudices which have gone on for so long that people think it’s normal is that the people who are for it are sensitive and defensive when women say ‘Fuck their approval, let’s look to each other for freedom. Let’s give each other the emancipation they deny us’. We have for too long expected and waited for racist, sexist and the allies to give us our humanity that we’re fed up of waiting and have made our own, and of course when you take or create your power the one who has monopolised it reacts and show their truth.

It hurts, its offensive and its tactless of you to tell us we cannot be there for each other, just because you didn’t give us permission to do that. There is a time in history when the congregation of black people was banned because it would threaten a government that declared black people subhuman, I can understand how you might not find this triggering, you tactless privileged racist sexist.

The unfortunate part is that with every oppressive rule there are those who feel the oppressors cannot be beaten or overthrown and as a measure of either self-preservation or validation they align themselves with the oppressor. They agree with the oppressor’s ideals even though it’s depreciative of their own kin, they reject the norms and attempts of their kin to be themselves on their own terms because it goes against their ‘massa’s’ plan. They believe in terms like ‘reverse racism’ and think that by wanting to be on our own we treat white people and men the way they have treated us for decades forgetting that our starting points are not the same and our motivation to have our own space is wildly different from that of their beloved master who banned us from so many spaces we still battle to get into now and feel safe in.


We do not want to have to discuss issues like why it hurts white people and men to accept that we want to be left alone to our devices to better each other. We want to talk about how we can be there for each other, every day and every way and how we can be patient with each other. We want to teach each other about how to accept ourselves and each other without feeling like we are betraying the other. We want to validate each other’s existence because we know better than anyone else how it hurts to have it invalidated by people who have no grounds to speak of our experiences and lives.


Even as I write this I have to work hard to not feel defeated by the need to have to say this because to be perfectly honest, black girls should not have to justify the necessity to congregate alone to people who do not believe that black girls are worth protection, love, acceptance and understanding in a space created by and for them.          


You can follow me on twitter: @nollyodbanks