I’m very into podcasts right now. I know, I couldn’t get any cooler if I tried. But I’m into them and it’s not just because I’m old. I have found via these podcasts, the voice of the black woman I would like to be, who knows something about themselves and the struggles they face, and tackles such things with wit and humour.
Two such podcasts I have been listening to of late, are 2 Dope Queens and Another Round. Both have black female co-hosts, and both have a lot of laughs and a lot of real talk. I love them because they express the opinions and feelings I often have as a black woman myself, but will never say out loud in often predominantly white company.
If this sounds strange, you’re probably not paying attention. I’m not saying that there are a lot of things I think but don’t say every day that directly relate to my experience as a person of colour, but I would be lying if I said that such things didn’t cross my mind once or twice a day. Without going into too much detail (and veering off the point of this post completely), the two aforementioned podcasts talk about interracial dating, getting racially profiled whilst purchasing goods, people touching their hair without permission, and just learning about who you are and being comfortable with whatever that is.
The reason I love these shows so much (aside from the fact that I can enjoy them and be horizontal at the same time) is that they represent an approach to the world that I have long since inhabited but used to think didn’t fit with the narrative of “what a black woman should be”. That is, I thought a black woman needed to be educated and independent yes, but also demure, eager to assimilate, be interested in hair and beauty, like r & b music and detest any other genres. I am simplifying all of these attributes because I have come to know them as stereotypes, but for a long time I thought that because I didn’t fit into any of those categories, I would always be the odd one out. And soon enough, I would have to fall in line or live on the outskirts of society for the rest of my days.
But recently I have found that weird really is wonderful, and although I’ve been saying that for years, I’m only now beginning to believe it. By listening to successful black women my age talking about being geeky, weird, and all the other names associated with colouring outside the lines, who eventually found themselves and stopped apologising for who they were, I get super inspired. That’s right, not just a normal amount of inspiration, but SUPER inspiration.
Perhaps it’s the same thing that’s always inspired me though; creativity of others that shows me a different perspective and challenges what I previously thought. But they’ve jogged something much bigger in me, which is about who I am as a black woman in society. I don’t think there is any one experience that encapsulates all experiences and I hope there never will be because then we’d all just be clones of each other. But figuring out my own journey without a framework (or restriction) promises to be both challenging and eye-opening.
So I guess this is an intro of things to come; or of things already past. In fact, if you start from the beginning of my blog and read all my posts, you’ll already get a sense of my experiences as a black woman living in Britain.
Let’s see where we go from here.
Image credit: Person Listening to Music by Cande Gervasoni from the Noun Project