The sounds of the times are changing. Stop a while for a moment and see how we refuse to bend to your unchanging. See our power. See our audacity. See our brilliance. See our grace. See as we turn our backs to your places and spaces. See how we elegantly uncover all our hidden secrets, all things that make us sacred. Our black has always been excellent. Always been graceful. Always been brave. Always been bold. Open your eyes and see for yourself.
Ooh and we are so brave, so full of grace. We are a bright light in a world that’s fallen far from grace. Though you may choose to remain the same. We know, that we are at a critical junction where being bold and brave is our middle name.
The moment to reckon with black women in academia is now. We are not some butler at a party, opening the doors for your arrival or all you allow.
It’s our party now.
Come in and stay awhile if you may. Eat our jollof rice and barbecue ribs with fried plaintains if you may.
Drink our palm wine or chocolate beer if you may. Dance to our music, ooh dance and no do, no do, shakara for me ooh. That’s the song we play.
Laugh, yes, let your soul laugh as you play with our children. They are our very own butterflies. Get to know how they make us fly.
And while you mingle, take a good look at all the other people in our inner circle, our interior life. Every one of them is a testimony of our strength, our tenacity, our perseverance, our power, our brilliance, our hidden secret, our reason for being, our greatest treasure, our life’s work, our legacy.
Like an Hibiscus flower at dawn, we bloom because of every single person we call our own, even single person ready in their battle gear, to fight this battle, just so they too can say we won. We do not fight this battle on our own.
Ooh and we won.
Every single person walked a thousand journeys with us just to help us win this battle. They cried too when we cried, for every time your insults were belittling, every time you questioned our credentials.
They carried us when we fell, when we stumbled, when we broke down under the weight of the pressure you felt was essential. They nursed us when we were sick and because of them we rise on our heels. Our bold rise today is because they lifted us up yesterday.
We are so powerful beyond these words we choose to speak with to you. Powerful beyond what you think you may know of us. We know our worth and are prepared to be audacious to leave spaces and go to places where we will be celebrated and not tolerated. Places that will help us thrive and not stifle our drive.
And why not. When we can cook and clean and write and sleep, all while running to make mango popsicles for our children, our butterflies, our greatest legacies.
We know whose we are and by God, we will be bold where we are.
You can’t stand in the way of all that is designed for our destiny.
You may wonder if this is the right moment, pacify us to keep mum for this moment. But what you forget, is how he alone knows the plan he has for us. Something great still will come out of this moment.
You may view us a a symbol of love and hate. But we are human beings too. You may view us as difficult too. Try to keep us mute too. But this is our supreme moment of destiny. This time is so long overdue.
So make your decisions. Decline, offer, deny, call it a difficult decision. Nothing will stop what is ours.
We will boldly decide and fight for what is ours. Even if you think it’s within your power to deny what is ours.
It is still ours. Our destiny. Our story. Our song. Our blessed assurance for a changing time where only bravery and boldness are all we know. One where praises will be sang by all the people gathered around our table, all the day long, including you.
Keep being bold and brave Black woman in academia. Thank you for showing us how Nikole Hannah Jones. And read her statement for rejecting tenure under her own terms here https://t.co/eMgYqRXbTL?amp=1