I can only say, the first step to becoming a Black woman, is to nurture yourself and love yourself and all aspects of your Black womanhood in whichever form it takes. The strongest river, the longest path you could ever forge is with yourself, and I will continue to do so for our future self.
When expanding this conversation of Black womanhood and our survival, we cannot stop the discussion of Black trans womanhood and femmehood at death. Black trans women and femmes have materialized and imagined worlds and futures that rupture and create space for all people’s survival. Learning and centering Black trans women and femmes in the reimagining of Black womanhood is vital to liberating Black women and our femininity from oppressive structures, and allows us to define womanhood for ourselves.
Despite Black and Asian American women’s connectedness, there has been very little conversation between the two groups at Harvard and beyond, even when we are both facing brutality, violence, and can assist one another during these times. By redirecting discourse to these women’s crisscrossing rivers, our words and authentic mutual support can begin to flow.
It can be tiring for fat women to just “love their bodies.” It is not the onus of fat individuals to forcibly change themselves and their views of themselves, but society’s responsibility to accommodate more bodies both in our construction of spaces and our interactions with one another.
Our resistance comes in our authenticity and love for one another as Black women. When I reach back into the past and observe and read all that has been done against Black women throughout history, I sit and tell myself: And yet we are still here.
Consider this column my own form of protest. Within this protest, I want to unveil the joys, the sadness, the anger, the fear, and love that Black women experience when operating through this world, and writing creates a space where I can bring these dimensionalities to you. My storytelling is an act of resistance because ultimately, my writing is a telling of who I am: commodifiable for no one.