This Weekend Is Very Special To Me. It is about very special people who have added extraordinary and lasting enrichment to my life. 

This weekend, #BlackWomenAreDivine, celebrates these remarkable people who have so enriched my life – so enriched this country – so enriched the world. The hardest thing about this is a love letter telling them so. That part is easy in one sense, because I have been writing those letters to them for as long as I can remember or as long as I have known each of them respectively. Possibly effusively, probably to a nuisance fault, and today I am still not done. I can’t be – no one should. The impossibility of this love letter resides in the very thing it always has. I have never been able to adequately convey the immeasurable joy, countless moments of profound respect and inspiration I have drawn from the Black Women in my life.

Are Black Women different from other people somehow? An easy question with a complex answer, aspects both easy and difficult to convey. Yes, Black Women have unique qualities exclusive to them. They do. They have different experience – the broadest parenthetic range of experience endowing them with immense range in perspective. Different challenges exist – usually imposed rather than situationally occurring as for the rest of us. Black Women have faced different demands, obstacles and instituted hurdles that are almost if not entirely exclusive to them. Some, unambiguously reserved for them. But more than anything, Black Women’s decisions, their attention, their vigilance, their action or inaction, many times carry outcomes or consequences more critical than those of anyone else. Especially of family and loved ones. Whether saving elections, preserving safety for their children, standing in the gap for targeted people in matters of the law, social injustice, theirs or someone else’s child and the burden of white people’s apathy associated with implicit and outward biases and racism – with all of this, they continue upward. Black women excel, achieve, love, lift up, tear down, endure and create with passion and brilliance – long demonstrating a deep and intelligent resilience and fairness to which I am uncertain whether I or many others could rise. After everything – still they rise. 

Racism in America is and was the most successful marketing campaign of evil and mendacity in the history of the world. It still is. An immoral campaign of falsehood and greed perpetuating unthinkable horror linked back through each Mother, each Black Woman uninterrupted through an ever-surviving, ever-overcoming, ever-resilient ancestral chain. Not just overcoming obstacles or the seeming insurmountable – but combating what for all intent was a design for perpetual futility. Black Women long stood at the lowest bar – the lowest rung on America’s and much of the world’s social, political and economic ladders, and for centuries passed. From then to yesterday – to today and forever forward – that chain has been thrown off – removed -rejected. No one in our county’s history, or in any history I know of has ever achieved such a milestone as the arc of achievement of Black Women – those I know and those I don’t know. The Revolutionary War lasted 7 years, roughly 6,800 were killed in action and 20,000 captured. Stack the roughly 6 million women, roughly 2.4 million dead forcibly crossing the Atlantic, and the countless dead through the ordeal and horrors of slavery. Our independence from British rule sort of pales, if one takes a moment with the numbers, the blood, the sweat and the tears. And of resilience, there is no attributable equal. Certainly the new America and its citizens also proved a resilience – yet even that was on the backs of Black Women. Their resilience came in spite of. It is more than a notable irony, it is a testament. 

There is a quality that is hard to describe of the Black Women I know, and those I don’t know but study or follow. I have always believed it has to do with the sacrifice, patience and status all women have dealt with through history and perhaps because of that history. I have too much respect and am far too humbled to present a theory on this attribute – and they certainly do not need for me to. Still, without question and in my own experience, when a Black Woman shows up for anything – there is an excellence, a grace, a mature wisdom that undergirds and animates their actions. That has been my experience. 

These are the amazing Black Women in my life. Some are very close – part of my chosen family – close friends. Three, I do not know at all and have not gained permission to claim them as inspiration or influence on my life. I hope it is okay that I show them also. I do not wish to be another appropriation of Black Women’s work or accomplishment as has for so long been an inequity and theft they have endured. Those photos are likely obvious and are added most humbly – most gratefully and with the utmost respect. To those directly in my life every day, it is with profound love and gratitude that I thank you for being in my life – for trusting me – for giving so much and for being my teachers, my family and my friends. You are truly … Divine.

Today & Every Day  #BlackWomenAreDivine