for colored girls…

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, especially as Black History Month bled into Women’s History Month. As I think about my own intersection, convergence, or crashing together of my blackness and my womaness, my questions and examinations of my identity as a black woman are part of a spiritual crisis that I am going through right now.

I’ve been going to a different church these past two weeks, partly to absorb and feel out their African-centeredness to see if it’s for me, but also to get away from some patriarchal issues I was/am having with my usual church. And I’ve been reading a lot of books – Katie’s Cannon, Moses, Man of the Mountain, and Diary of a Lost Black Girl, to name a few. And I follow The Kitchen Table. And the news. And all of it has me utterly confused about my place as a black woman, in America, in the world, and in my God’s kingdom. Now of course I have other issues, like depression and fibromyalgia, that are also weighing heavy on my heart. But it’s hard to describe them here because they are so deep I can hardly stand to speak them aloud for myself.

A large part of it all is a feeling that Jesus has somehow forgotten about me, despite my loyalty. Although He promised not to give me more than I can bear, I can’t shake the feeling of permanency, like I can handle this now/today, but I don’t think I can bear it for a lifetime. That despite all my blessings, for I have many including a strong and loving husband and two beautiful children, I feel slighted that I don’t also have peace of body and peace of mind. That I would give it up, be stupid and ugly if I could at least feel content. I don’t even need happiness, but I can certainly do without agitation and despair.

And that’s selfish, I know. I know that there are people in much worse positions than I. But I also wonder, as many of the above books allude to, if it’s simpy the black woman’s burden to bear. Are we really just de mules uh de world, as Zora Neale Hurston wrote, destined to carry the load given by the white man to the black man to bear, who then caste it to the black woman? Is it simply a coincidence that the attack on Rhianna and the sugarcoating of Chris Brown’s behavior comes at such an intersecting time? Is my current state of examination and crisis really just the embodiment of the transition from black to woman’s history? Are we, as black women, destined to a life of both internal and external violence and exploitation?

One thought on “for colored girls…

  1. My heart goes out to you. All I can say is that I care. I have thought about the same religious issue from the other end: as a person who has had good health and a reasonably trouble-free life, I could not (refused to) accept a religion or image of God that said I’m more blessed by God than people who are suffering and struggling or that “God is good” because I personally don’t have any troubles. Some things seem to me to be too much for anyone to bear, and I’m not willing to say it is God’s will that they have to bear it, nor am I willing to say they are not really suffering or it is part of some higher purpose. I have no answers. I can just say that my understanding of God starts from the reality of people’s suffering. It is more like God/Jesus suffers with us, but even that seems too simplistic. I know that we are called to care about the suffering of others and to live in the knowledge of the world’s pain. But I still don’t see how that helps anyone else when they are suffering. My friends who recently lost a son said that it helped to know that others had lost children and that people cared about them. So I cling to the hope that caring helps in the face of the overwhelming suffering of so many people, but it still seems so insignificant.

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