“BGs need a manifesto. For real.”
This was subject line of an email that appeared in my inbox after another long day. I was sitting in front of desk with some half eaten focaccia and coffee, black not because I like it strong, but because in my rush I had forgotten to stop and add some.
Inside that email from one of my girlfriends was a link to a post from The 99 Percent and while i tried to hastily read through it, it actually helped slow me down. Written by Jocelyn K. Glei, the post outlined five different types of manifestos: for the architect, the marketer, the designer, the writer and another for the company.
While every manifesto brought up different points, they all did so with their experience behind them. For Apple, the company, that meant saying “We believe in the simple, not the complex.” For Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect, that meant “Having a sense of proportion (humor).” And for Tolstoy, the writer and introvert, that meant “Being good, but try to let know one know it.”
I’ve tried to think of what a Black Girls’ manifesto would look like. We are so many different parts but with our experience behind us, we have so much to share. The hard part isn’t necessarily defining what we include in our “truths” but thinking out what it takes to get there.
Some truths are universal for us. There’s a reason why India Irie, Oprah and Sesame Street Muppet can all say, “I am not my hair.” But what other truths exist for us as women of color? How do we build this manifesto of ours.
My best suggestion is we do it together. Collectively contributing our best “truths” along. So I’ll take a step out and go first then ask you to join along.
I’d like to add to our manifesto “Falling in love with faith we find on our own.” It speaks to my truth and all Black girls I know. Whether we were raised in church pews or with no place of worship at all, we have a voracious independent craving to find what makes up the core of our faith and keeps our spirits whole. We all carry so much of other people’s burdens that we have, I think, by necessity a shared yearning to understand the things that keep us strong.
This morning, share your thoughts with us Clutchettes: What would you add to the BG manifesto? What are some beliefs we share that you know will always be true?