Words by Nicole Goodnight.
When I think of the black woman, I am often remined of a poem written by the GOAT, the Great Tupac Shakur entitled “A Rose That Grew from Concrete”. In this short but meaningful poem he talks about natures law being all wrong, when a Rose arises from the cracks of concrete, flawlessly, with a dream and turning it into fresh air… and still no one cared. This to me, is the black woman! We often make something out of nothing and continue to be a breath of fresh air to those around us, even when no one ever ask us” Are you okay?” “How you do feel today?” or even a simple “I appreciate you”.
In the past week or so, I have been trying to understand the hurt and misunderstanding of purpose that Jas Waters must have felt, that led her to take her own life. How can someone who was creative, inspiring, smart, living her dream and loved by so many, feel so alone? How did we (other black women) and society contribute to what Jas had to be feeling? To me, the answer is simple… BLACK WOMEN are not allowed to break down. We are not openly allowed to feel discouraged because we must ENCOURAGE others. Is this fair? Absolutely not…. But this is deeply rooted in our genes.
Last night, I had an ugly low down dirty cry, and I could not understand it. I took a minute, went to my bathroom, and realized I was crying about stuff I had suppressed from years and it came over me. My boyfriend could not figure it out and I was too ashamed to tell him the 60 reasons why I was crying. I think as a community we have deeply rooted insecurities that add to the stress of everyday life and often if we do not get a hold of them early, they turn into an overwhelming amount of anxiety and depression.
I think as a community the only way to face this, is to be honest with ourselves. We need to have friends, partners and family that can understand and listen without judgement. Often our go to is “I’m fine” when you are broken down inside and you are one more bad day away from giving up. Jas, I can’t blame you, I blame us for not seeing your pain through your tweets and encouraging you, I blame our culture for not allowing anxiety to be comforted, I blame the world for over working us and expecting excellence at all times.
Dear Black woman and Black Man, can we vow to always love one another and know that we are not always “Fine” and that our strong friend is tired of being strong and wants someone to ask how she is doing? Or better yet, that she is killing it? Can we vow to go to therapy and stick with it? Can we vow to not let our jobs and relationships depict who we are? Lastly, can we vow to heal? In whatever way that looks like for us.
Dear Jas, this was for you. I have not written anything in years. I remember when I first was blogging in 2012 you were one of the people that I looked up too. You were not only from my hometown, but you were gifted and flawless in your work. You encouraged and inspired others, you were humble, transparent, and available. I wish you peace in your next life. I vow to honor you and myself by healing and understanding my purpose and worth. I vow to not be the strong friend every chance I get and tell the truth about how fucked up of a day and life I am having, until I encourage myself back into formation. I vow, to write even when its not a trend. Job well done.