Brown / Orgullo Renacido

Can I just first say that I can’t remember the last time I was this nervous to post my thoughts? I wanna put that out there. Like, literally, I’m experiencing anxiety as I type this intro to the video below. I’m trying to find as many words to put in between this text and my vulnerability. I started this post yesterday, but had to put it away because it was either anxiety or sleep…you know how that ended. Today, it’s been “anxiety or listen to awesome podcasts?” — “anxiety or cook me a delicious veggie burger?” — “anxiety or pack for my holiday trip?”…yeah, that much fear. [side note: I chose the latter options over anxiety only twice…not for lack of trying, but I couldn’t justify packing two weeks early]. I guess it’s the putting a face to the words thing. Or maybe the I’m still working on the self-consciousness and standards of beauty thing. Or it could be the wow, my eyebrows are pretty expressive and a bit dramatic when I talk thing. …probably a combination of all that plus more. But anyway, if I’ve learned anything over the past year and a half or so, it’s that where there’s fear, there’s an opportunity to move into it rather than run away…granted, I feel like I’m moving rather slowly into it this time, but whatevs, progress ya’ll.

So, below is a reflection I’ve written about my identity as a woman of color. Poetry. Spoken word. Resistance. Call it what you will.I’ll call it courage.

I wrote and published this with my doctoral dissertation on intersectionality and the identity development I experienced as a child and into young adulthood (development I continue to experienced on the daily). It feels important to share for a couple of reasons. First, the whole fear thing. I’ve constantly challenged myself to do rather than just be or reflect, but have rarely felt enough fire to overcome the fear. This is a good way to hold myself accountable and step into the vulnerability. Second, the timing seems too coincidental to keep these words to myself. Yes, they are my words, but I feel that they capture the experience of many. Sadly, the fears, doubts, pain, disappointment, and struggle are not mine to bear alone…but neither are the pride and hope and courage.

Okay, I’ll stop avoiding. I hope this will help you reflect on who you are and where you came from as well as where you’re going…because #movement is needed.

[*full text below. Sharing is encouraged, with credit por favor 🙂

Be kind, friends
Sending love from the clouds, always]

 

 

 

Brown / orgullo renacido

I’ve always said,
I brown easily

pigment
soaking in the light
beckoning
to be nourished,
satiated
by the sunshine
resulting in
darkened skin
a poignant sign that
I am brown

I work hard
And work through
All the hurdles in place
The aggressions
oppressions
from without and within
that lead to this space
of not knowing the way
still, I remember
I am brown

I stand out
And shut out
Those who tell me I can’t
so I do
yet, still
they refuse
to acknowledge or accept
my accomplishments
perhaps because
I am brown

I was told
too much and too soon
the how’s and the don’ts
with no why’s
well I won’t
follow
because my place is to lead
to share the voice of the voiceless
the dreams of the proud
because we are brown

yes,
we are / I am

morena
color de caramelo
o de la tierra
de donde vengo
intentando, conduciendo
sobre caminos
criticismos, egoísmos
con pies y alma
heridos
pero no destruidos

morena
raíces extranjeras
de durango
y zacatecas
tal vez soy azteca,
tolteca, o mixteca
mexicana
y chicana
…mestiza
navegando sin prisa

morena
en medio de la búsqueda
de mi voz, de mi alma
sin necesitar pericia
o permiso
porque estoy creando y
formando, produciendo
mi identidad
con esta piel morena
que yo tengo

morena
viviendo entre dos mundos
con fe, sin ansiedad
con confianza y claridad
sabiendo que
no hay que temer
a lo desconocido
a causa de todo esto
seguiré caminando
con un orgullo renacido

(c) Claudia Mejia, 2016

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