We are SOLHOT and we want you to know and remember Black girls!
So much is going on in the world- and for many of us, SOLHOT has been a life-giving space. A meeting place and way of being that affirms each of us as similar and different as we are. Because we fundamentally believe in the power of the collective, we want to add our voice to the many online conversations about this very important moment in our history. Nothing can be transformed without Black girls genius.
And because June Jordan reminded us “there are limitless, new ways to engage our tender, and possible responsibilities, obligations that our actual continuing coexistence here, in these United States and here in our world require”, a few SOLHOT homegirls and girls would like to affirm Black girls everywhere with what we would like to be known and remembered about us.
~ We want you to know and remember that all Black girls have the right to be happy.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are who we are! We aren't always products of our environment! We can take some of the worst situations and allow them to give us the life we need in order to defy what statistics say!
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are not afraid to tell the truth.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are bees; not bitches. Bees tend to use their stinger as a defense mechanism to protect their home. Our stingers are our attitude. We use our attitude and snap back to show that we defend what we stand for.
~ We want you to know and remember that there are many ways to be a Black girl, do not over look us and do not stare us down.
~ We want you to know and remember that my children's future is tied to yours.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are brilliant.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are a most precious gift. We usher in the truth on lips, back and hips. And even when you try with your fear to make us disappear, we still stand tall and we are still here!
~ We want you all to know and remember that our only work here is to define ourselves and to make room for other Black girls to do the same… even if it makes others uncomfortable (and it will).
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are capable of telling their own stories about their own lives.
~ We want you to know and remember your personal sister circles. They are the source of our power. To love our selves is a revolutionary act, just as it is to love each other.
~ We want you all to know and remember Assata Shakur. I passed a billboard calling her a terrorist. I guess she is. She's a threat to the imperialist, patriarchal, white supremacist system that fucks us over everyday. And I'm proud of her for that.
~ We want you to know and remember that it infuriated us that Juror B37 called Rachel Jeantel inadequate. Black girls shine. In every space. In every room. We are luminous.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls ROCK! In ANY and EVERYTHING we do! As much as we are oppressed and underestimated, we rise above it and somehow ALWAYS come out on top! Know and remember that Black girls STARTED from the bottom, now we HERE! We started from the bottom and NOW THE WHOLE TEAM HERE! #TEAMBlackGirls!
~ We want you all to know and remember that Black girls are always present despite efforts to disappear, displace, and rearrange us.
~ We want you all to know and remember that Black girls are human. Know and remember that we are complex in only the ways that we can be. Know and remember that you can bite. You can mimic but what you GOTTA know is that WE GOT it. Know and remember that finding your Black girl truth is dangerous....but necessary. Know and remember my girls who walk everyday in bodies that are deemed unworthy. Know and remember your mothers, sisters, daughters and nieces who taught you. Know and remember ME. Searching, found, broken and whole all at the same time.
~ We want you all to know and remember that no matter what shape or size we come in, us Black girls ROCK. We run this crazy mixed up world we live in today. Can't nobody hold us back!
~ We want you to know and re-member the singular wholeness of every single Black girl who courageously centers herself along a dizzying race-gender high wire. Freehand balance from birth to rebirth, she does not lose sight of herself. See her will to live as the soul legacy of the unbroken Black en/coded mitochondrial eve of humanity. Know her wish to live fully, fly, and fearlessly in spite of Sam’s deathtrap as a death-defying feat that onlookers look up (to her) with awe.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are loud… ON PURPOSE. This, we learned from Audre Lorde, Zora Neale and our mothers.
~ We want you to know and remember that we are who we have always been...once a Black girl, always a Black girl. Now do you understand our politics?
~ We want you to know and remember Rachel, Marissa, Makayla, Kelley, Vijaiy, Ayanna, Cassandra, Thammy, Latasha, Kyeshia, Mauriana, Tajonna, Keyonna, Shawntell....
~ We want you to know and remember that you do not know us, how you think you know us. We are not your fabrications.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are emotional. We have attitudes that match every situation we face and just because we are angry does not define us as a typical “anything”. Our emotionalism sets us apart from others... it intimidates, it causes a scene, it gets the attention of those who didn't care to listen when we were neutral. Our emotions are a part of who we are. Tears. Laughs. Frowns. The momma look. You name it and a Black girl can claim it.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are geniuses. We create knowledge, spaces, bonds, trends, language, movements, music, and art no one else can. We have similar cultures, experiences, and ways of being, but no one can put us in a box. We individually add to the diverse definition of what it means to be a Black girl. We are quiet, loud, sassy, laid-back, strong, and delicate.. We defy your stereotypes and exceed your expectations everyday. Despite what’s thrown at us, we still shine.
~ We want you to know and remember that Black Girls are a mystery. We are not to be attained in one's mind with a quota. I want you to know and remember that our hips sway with confidence, and our lips curve by the lash of our tongue or sweet kisses to our loved ones. Black Girls are the future, through the worlds adversities, we travel, through what they try and hide us, in a vast abyss of unworthiness, bottom of the barrel treatment. However we rise to this. Unfolding the blankets of spiritual resurrection, belief, faith, love, adroitness, resolutions, vivaciousness, and gaiety, after the harsh blows society throws. I want you to know and remember that no one knows how Black girls operate. How we make it through the fight. We will not be over-looked, for we are the founders. Black girls are what every woman endures. We want you to know and remember that Black girls are the epitome of a woman, a lover, a supporter, and A SURVIVOR!!
~ We want you to know and remember that Black girls are the UNIVERSE and we are your EVERYTHING!!
~I want you to know what the members of Combahee RIver Collective wanted the world to know: black girls and black women are inherently valuable. To say that black women and girls are valuable to is to acknowledge the brilliance, labor, and love that proceeds from their very existence. To affirm and practice that black women and girls are inherently valuable is to negate the systems of oppression that depend on appropriating surplus value from black girls and other peoples in order to reproduce their death-dealing relations. To know that black girls are inherently valuable is to speak life in the face of death. Know that.
~ We want you to know and remember that BLACK GIRLS- are loyal, trustworthy, intelligent, curious, educated, classy, beautiful, loud, respectful, determined, unique, fun, loving, charismatic, creative, resourceful, fabulous, legendary, sophisticated, content, willing, deserving, pure, natural, fearless, constant, precious, anxious, proud, distraught, strong, blessed, tearful, courageous, thinkers, passionate, persistent, controlling, thick, curvaceous, attractive, glorious, wise, adorable, independent, angry, happy, emotional, optional, discrete, unashamed, present, addictive, aware, and WE MATTER.
~ We want you to know and remember your definition of a BLACK GIRL means NOTHING, WE DEFINE US, FOR US, FOR YOU, FOR ALL.
~ We want you to know and remember that BLACK GIRLS are… mistaken, (mis)taken, misplaced, misfortunate, misdirected, misunderstood, misanthropic, misguided, mishandled, misogynistic, and missed. Don't assume anything about me until you get to know me. When you think you know me you, trust me, you've MISSED something; therefore you do NOT know me!!! Know and remember... I am a BLACK GIRL and I am Loved!
~I want you to know and remember that Black girls, hold it down, have been holding it down, and will keep holding it/us down. But just because ya'll can, and do, and will doesn't mean you should have to alone.
~I want you to know and remember that Black girls know, that "I am not meant to be alone without you who understand," a la Audre and that that means sistah, brotha, friends are always, always needed.
~I want you to know and remember that Black girls know love intimately, love deeply, and teach me, and us time and time again the infinite ways to love better, harder, longer, each other, and most importantly ourselves first.
~I want you to know and remember, I see you, I hear you, and believe in your intrinsic worth even when you are on trial for being you, for being a witness, the last witness left to testify for life and defy their attempts to kill us.
~I want you all to know and remember that black girls are dancing wind and purple skies. We evolve like no other, move like no other, speak like no other, down for the cause--whatever it is--like no other. We black girls are fierceee.
~I want you to know and remember how Black girls love Black boys.
Fiercely, unabashedly...authentically. Feigning, at times, naivete, in efforts to lift him up and give him back the power that White America seems hell bent on snatching...for every Black girl/woman that makes herself available to text and talk despite school, work, laundry, choir practice and mama's inquisitions. For being that "ride or die" @#$*...For supporting, championing and training, even when in some cases it is for the "next chic". For not giving up on my Black boy/man, even when I feel he has given up on me. Yes, I will be your Rachel...I will answer the phone. I want you to know and remember how Black girls/women love Black boys/men. Regardless.
Thank you for hearing and listening to our truths.
(Kristen, Tiana, Nailah, Grenita, Dominique, Chamara, Sesali, Jayda, Treva, Meme, Jessica, Candy, Ashley, Aisha, Ruth Nicole, Porsha, Lauren, Durell, Christina, Morgan, Dee and Lexus)
ps. The June Jordan quote is from the book, Some of Us Did Not Die: New and Selected Essays (Basic Civitas Books, 2003).