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Your Confidence is Deeper, STAND UP for it…

woman holding man s hat

Melanated Gem, everyday when I wake up I ask God to present me to the world the way I was designed. As an Africana woman, our confidence often offends, and that’s a good thing. I’ll tell you why, the design of white inferiority systems was to create loyalty to whiteness, and be able to assimilate into their worlds. That’s why the narratives of what is good and acceptable has all been in proximity to whiteness. They don’t want us to trust our confidence, intellect, talents, information, and cultures. That’s why as of 2020, when I still entered and office, I had to make an example out of a coworker who told me “Black women have bad hair”, or the whole of 2019 when I had to constantly correct white men who commented on my hair, and forced my boss to have a staff wide meeting about it. I was even asked by someone “why are you so confident?”, I responded “I don’t have a right not to be”. Either way, our appearance and confidence is always on trial because white people feel they are the norm, and they find it offensive that we are able to embrace ourselves, go against their norms, and even challenge them when they say something that requires challenging. For example, I remember another Black queen telling me, “wow, you’re confident around white people”, that was in 2018, because I was educating and correcting a white man who stated the wrong thing about an African culture. I find it odd that my confidence is often challenged when it is displayed around white people. It is necessary to be confident, and correct anyone who misrepresents your culture. For example, a white guy tried to lecture me about Nigeria and the main languages, when I’m the Nigerian; he said “there’s only one language in Nigeria, Igbo and Yoruba are just dialects”, I said NO, I am Igbo, it is a complete separate language, culture, and tradition from Yoruba people. Or when I was teaching students about my experience in Namibia, and a white teacher who had never been to Africa tried to tell me, in front of the students, that what I was saying was not my experience, weirdo behavior. People always tell Black people to “let it go”, but honestly, white people need to “let it go”, stop trying to control every narrative around you. To challenge someone’s intellect in every instance because you think their information is inferior, is racism. Trust me, I have the energy to correct them each and every time, I believe confidence is also displayed in not backing down when your intellect is threatened.

Anyway, you know I don’t like to give life to too many narratives of white inferiority systems. Unfortunately, to make some points clear about how to raise our confidence, I have to address the behaviors and let you all know that it is not ok. For hundreds of years, our narratives have been falsely interpreted, we have been told that our hair is not professional, or to “not act black”; and even many of us, have told me, that they don’t eat certain foods around white people, IMAGINE! It’s all a bunch of bull to be honest. I always say, you make them your God when you’re always concerned about what they will say about you, and, it is disrespectful to God to care more about what a white person thinks about you, than just being yourself. I know what I am talking about, I can’t have a conversation about this with many Black people without them saying what white people will think. In fact, til’ this day, I haven’t been to a Black gathering in my life where people don’t mention what white people will think, mini plantations. I’m like wow, I don’t even consider their opinions, because they are not relevant as it pertains to my beautiful life. Even if my life wasn’t beautiful, what a white person thinks of me can’t be anywhere on my list. Now the systems that they’ve created, and the lies that have been told to oppress Black people, are of top concern for me to dismantle, that’s macro – their opinions are micro, and non-existent in my world. I’m from the suburbs and some of them have said I am from the ghetto, I am not offended by that at all because, if I was from the ghetto, I’m still one of the greatest of all time, so what are you really saying here? So just me being affirmative, loving myself, correcting wrong comments, knowing what I want, holding my head high, has offended many white people. That is why, when I pray to God in the morning, I ask God to present me to the world as myself, even if it offends, and let it offend, so long as it’s authentic. I am glad to offend you, because you know that you don’t own me. I walk away from your offers, low-balling offers at that, I escape your ideologies, I hurt your ego, I don’t protect you, because I have to do what protects me, and honestly dismantling a system can start from these micro interactions that happen daily.

Your confidence is your mark in this world. Once you live life by design, you activate a uniqueness in you that cannot be taken away. Even if someone’s purpose is similar to yours, it is designed to do something different. Therefore, no need to compete, just be. I have this blog, and many other things, and I love and hype up everything I do, why? because I am certain it belongs here. I know everybody won’t like it, but because I live by design, I know that when God gave me a gift, I was given an audience. That is exclusive of what white people think of me. I have to laugh because that is the one thing I want to eradicate my people of, is thinking that a white persons thoughts will hinder them. Once we all walk in our designs, we dismantle a system while building up ourselves, because we are each actively living in confidence and not fear. I tell you, confidence for Black people will do much more than you think it will do, and it will be a key to unity. When I say confidence, I mean holding yourself to a standard as well, not only acing on what you believe in, but making sure it builds up Africana people.

My Africana people, you are great. Don’t listen to people who tell you to humble yourself in this system, and wait your turn. In this world, my definition of humble is – don’t get to big to the point of disrespecting people and tearing people down to think I am better than them. Let’s be clear, you have every right to get what’s yours, and talk about it. You have no choice but to love your hair, skin, intellect, style, and cultures. It’s not ghetto, it’s creative, and does not have to mimic what whites have done to be relevant. It’s not primitive, it’s not barbaric. Are you going to listen to the people who celebrate their ancestors killing indigenous people to get their way? Of course not. Are you going to trust the people that had to lie about Black history to make theirs relevant? Never! Speak your truth, walk your walk, talk your talk, Mealanated Gem. By the way, have you purchased any Melanated Gem items yet? You should! This body jewelry empowers you and reminds you of who you are with quality beads and designs to represent the colorfulness of the Global Africana Diaspora. Check out these reviews from customers! Also, get your book of poems, I wrote those to inspire you too! You are love, gem.

~Ndidi Love~

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