By Jérémie A Kathalay
Posted on August 26, 2021
It took me some time to fully understand the beauty that came from being Black. I always felt like there was a target on my back, which made it difficult to see at times. Though as I grew older and saw the people around me that looked like me, it helped me to realize that there was so much to appreciate about how I looked and the people that I descended from. So, I decided to go to a church and find people that looked like me who share this self-love. Recently, it has been difficult to find appreciation for being Black, as the media and world events constantly expose us to so many Black people dying and suffering every day. Being able to bring a sense of positivity to what one loves about being Black is just one way to make the future brighter as it should be for Black people and their respective communities worldwide.
I asked people: “What do you love about being Black?”
“Being strong together. It’s weird thinking that a bunch of people can create this bond because of the problems we’ve all faced together. Yeah, I’d say that. There’s probably a lot of better ones but that’s what I’ll stick with.”
“See, that is a tough question! Not because I don’t have one but because there’s so many things! I don’t know if I can focus on one particular thing that I love, but I absolutely love being in the sun. I was living in Hawaii for the past seven months and I was able to just bask in the sun with not much issue! Thank goodness for the melanin. I’d say that is one thing I’m super grateful for. Having such amazing skin that I was able to do that.”
“I’m biracial so it’s always been a little difficult for me. Sometimes I didn’t really feel like I was Black. It was definitely difficult but over time I learned to love and accept that part of myself and the culture that comes from it. The culture is so rich and beautiful it’s hard to not love and appreciate.
“Is this going to be on TV or something? Because if it is you better make sure I look good with this mask on. But what’s not to love? Have you seen us? People love what we do and they take it to do for themselves. People love us, so how can we not love ourselves?”
Of all the people that I asked this question too, these answers stood out the most. Seeing the Of all the people that I asked this question too, these answers stood out the most. Seeing the faces of the participants light up when asked “What do you love about being Black?” helped me see that this is a question that is not often asked, but something everyone needs to think about more. From acceptance to gratefulness, appreciation, and pride; these people had their own experience when it came to their love of being Black. To be honest, I did not expect these responses from those I had asked; it is not easy to share something as unique and as varied lived experiences and admiration based on the colour of your skin, especially with people who may not understand.
No matter where you are, being Black is not only a collective experience but also something to be proud of. I was grateful for the opportunity to speak to these individuals, even though it was for a short while, and I hope I made a difference in their day by spreading positivity through intentional questioning. As reflected in this article, there are many things to love about being Black, and now is a good time to ask yourself what do you love about being Black?