Joy Comes With Me This Morning Dedicated to Madam Vice President, Kamala D. Harris
I wish that white folks could understand all of my joy today.
I wish that they could feel all the joy that is dancing in my soul.
I acknowledge that this is a happy day for many; a change of power, a turning of the page from a story filled with terror, lack of care, and dignity.
I understand that many feel that this is an opportunity to bring about change for the United States. But it is much more complicated for me this morning.
Black girl joy on this day is different. Seeing Black girl magic sparkle and shine after a time of darkness and taking the realm to lead this country is different.
The joy is one that makes me cry joyful tears as I take my shower, as I prepare my breakfast, and I pray and thank God that he blessed me to survive a pandemic to see this moment.
I wish white folks could know all the joy I have this morning.
White folks can't feel this joy because to know this electricity, to see this level of hope in moving forward, they would have to take time to process and react to the terror and pain that has happened to Black Americans for this moment to happen.
They would have to know this is the first time that a Vice President looks like my mother. Her d hair that blows gently in the wind belongs to the woman who brought me to this world.
The contagious laugh that she possesses can be found in the unique character of my sister. The work ethic belongs to my aunts and cousins, who focus on providing a better world for their children. Her wisdom and burdens are like my grandmothers' that she will carry secretly to make sure to always seem strong during adversity.
Her tan skin is the same as all the women in my family.
Her hope is like every Black girl who sits in front of me in my classroom, knowing that change can happen through them.
She is us. This moment is for us. History, for once, is ours. This moment is our day.
To completely feel this joy is knowing that not long ago, women in dress shoes refused to ride segregated busses and allowed their heels to click on payments toward freedom. Those women crossed bridges, crossed dirt roads filled with fear and violence. Those women walked so that I could sit and watch this moment in comfort in my home.
This joy comes from Mamie Till's pain, first seeing her son and thinking of us to leave the casket open, having us stare directly at the monster that America was and continues to be in its lack of protection of our Black children.
The lynchings of many whose names I'll never be said in history books cross my mind this morning.
The Black mothers who cry with unknown pain but continue to build for their families, communities, churches, and world must be thought of by me at this moment.
Black women have always done the work while thinking of moving forward in this country; knowing their names would receive no praise. Those Black women whose eyes males fixate on the males being pushed to the forefront are on my mind this morning.
But not today. Today is a day celebrating Black women. Despite all the pain, we find joy in today.
This moment brings about remembrance of stories of colored water fountains. Segregation at lunch counters. Water hoses. Attack dogs.
White folks have not had to hear the stories directly from their ancestors to hope things would change. From family members that don't want the next generation to feel the torment, they remember in painful flashbacks of fear.
So, one must take time to remember the many layers of pain. It must be processed and embraced for this moment to feel all of this joy truly.
I wish white folks could understand the pain that comes with this joy. That's why this joy is not for them and never will be.
Today, I stand with her and feel like royalty. I understand and respect that this moment also belongs to Shirley Chisholm and other women who have run and voted for change because I know Black women have always paved the way for this moment.
Seeing this, knowing Black history, feeling the country's continuous pain of injustice that we continue to battle today, and looking toward a brighter tomorrow belongs to so many Black women today.
This joy is one that will be with Black women forever. One that others will never know in its entirely.
Today is our day. Our history. Black women are history today. This joy comes to me this morning.