Sunday, 17 January 2016

Where do we belong? One voice for many brown womxn.

Writing is daunting. Writing as a woman of colour is umpteen times more daunting.

What will I say? How will I be perceived? Is what I say sensical and rational? Will it be read? Will it resonate? Will it be accepted?

Emotionally intelligent people will tell you that it shouldn't matter. That it all lies in the process and that all that matters is that you get what you have to say out there. But if you are like me, then this is definitely not the case. It does matter.

It matters because I was taught, from the time I was born, to second guess everything I think and say. To feel less than because of the colour of my skin and what's between my legs. To hide the lumps on my chest lest they detract from any debate yet at the same time to display them like ornaments to attract attention from potential mates - but not too much - just the right amount.

Mixed messages are all I received my entire life; growing up in a conservative community, not having the support of family around when needed, but having their judgment when uninvited was par for the course.

After a lifetime of socialisation leading to subconscious self-deprecation and chastisement I one day decided to start exploring who I am after all these layers are stripped away. A strong quest for egalitarianism and equality led me to various junctures that are changing my life. And this blog, is a story of what I have found, and what I am finding.

This is not dissimilar to what is happening around us, with our contemporaries increasingly taking a strong and vehement stand against societal bullshit, and demanding a rebalance of power and righting of past wrongs. This social awakening, or reawakening, is part of us all coming together to find out who we are. Demanding what is right. It is what I am doing on a micro basis, and what many people in much harsher situations than me are doing too - feeding the fire of the revolution. Finding a place for who we are. This process of finding a space, and carving it out is not an easy one.

I can sum it up for you in one sentence if you like. It is something that is age old and obvious -
A sense of belonging is hard to find when roots have been trampled, widespread and lost. 

You might be curious as to my roots after I have chosen to go by the title "Indo-African Queen". Is this person Indian? Are they African? Are they a mix between the two?

I will say that in this moment this does not matter (it obviously does matter), for I myself am not sure of the answer to this question. There are issues of biology and heritage and there are factors of culture, life and exposure. This is a question that I am still answering through my very existence.

The space I have created to explore the issues surrounding this quest is complex, multi-layered and messy. It is a space that has required minimal courage up to now, but will require increasingly more courage as I choose to write, share and expose more of my living experience. More of my perception of reality as a (black) marginalised member of a male dominant society. More of the systematic destruction of the storyline that tells me what I have to say does not count.  This is a space that will require tears, laughter, vulnerability, strength and humility. All of which I am sure I possess in some limited measure, but that I hope will grow as I explore the issues I face as I try to make sense of the fuckery that is existence in this context of vast and inhumane inequality.

This blog is for women faraway coming to terms with an identity that is shaped by the choices of our forefathers and foremothers, that we had no say in adopting.

My place is as an Indo-Afrikan Queen whose daily struggle is existing under the burdens of oppression, racism and patriarchy trying tirelessly to make it through each day.

What's yours?

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