Black Enough

Is my baby black enough?

It’s not her fault I married a man who is Vietnamese and white. It’s not her fault she’s the color of a file folder. It’s not her fault her hair lacks the curl pattern that forged a permanent alliance between my hair and my no lye relaxer. Every time I look at my beautiful little girl, I wonder how often she’ll be judged for not looking black enough. I wonder how many people won’t look beyond her complexion and hair to realize how wonderful she is, and still would be if her skin was the color of coal and hair the texture of wool. If she dates a black man, will women smirk and think that he only wants her because she’s an LSW? If she dates a non-black, will those same women look at her in disgust because of her obvious shame of her African roots? I’m afraid she won’t be able to win, no matter what she does, it won’t be good enough please the legions of I’m Black and I’m Prouds who denounce those who aren’t black enough and those have to prove their blackness. During the Superbowl last year, my child ran around naked with her freshly unbraided hair flying all over the place before taking her bath. I tweeted that she looked like Troy Polamalu (during the Superbowl in which he was not only playing, but starring in multiple Head & Shoulders commercials) and I was instantly assaulted by two SBWs [the s is for either strong or stank, take your pick] insulted by the mere mention of a black woman’s hair that didn’t include #teamnatural. “Do you want a cookie?” was one of the responses. I blocked both bitches and went about my business but to this day, I can’t help but to still be concerned that my child’s future relationships with other black women may be determined by their annoyance that she doesn’t look black enough. She’ll always be amazing, and not because she’s “light-skinded with good hair,” but because she’s smart, funny, sensitive, caring, and downright extraordinary. I teach her that beauty is only skin deep and that her looks aren’t what make her a star. That she IS black enough, and her complexion and hair have nothing to do with it. That she doesn’t have to tolerate or accept someone else’s judgement based on what she looks like. That she should be proud of her heritage and ancestry, all of it.

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