Bag Lady

Erykah Badu

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Erykah Badu,

I did not come into this world celebrated by the world as a Black Nubian Queen, there may have been a silver spoon nearby but upon my tongue, beneath my lips it did not rest. As life has progressed and I have evolved I have become a beautiful, Black, independent, prosperous, talented, driven, loving, passionate, caring, dedicated, spirited and proud woman.

Now, you may call me your Queen, your beautiful Black woman but that was not always the case. There were the years you shushed me, begged me to use a softer voice, subdue my laughter and not get so excited when I talked, always afraid my spirited gestures will destroy something around me. Then there were the years you called me bucktoothed, chicken legs, flat-chested and metal mouth while I awkwardly worked my way through puberty. Next came the years you called me a B@#$ and I had to jump over the table in the science room to punch you dead in your face, humiliating you in front of your peers the way you’d tried to do me with that one word. Finally, came the moment you called me Queen,

It’s true, I wasn’t forthright when I introduced myself to you, perhaps I should have extended my hand and at the same time all my reasons, excuses and explanations for the baggage that lay at my feet, shackling me to my past, invading my present and preventing my future. I suppose that introduction would have gone a little something like this,

“Hi, I’m Sunny and even before I extended my hand I knew (or at least I fervently hoped) you would be someone special in my life. So, before you can even begin to make your own choices about me or see me for the person I am today and the person I continue to work hard towards becoming I want to explain each and every bag that lies around my feet. You see, before you came along there have been men that have played with my heart, toyed with and taken it just for fun. When their game was over and they had declared victory was won I was left standing with this bag to add to the others. See? This is the one. The list continues because boys like to play with things and see what makes them run and sometimes they damage things just for fun. So before I knew it I had a set of luggage which I’ve dragged around with me. I have done an incredible amount of work to get rid of it, lessen it, hide it and at times I just pretend it doesn’t exist. I don’t want you to carry any of my baggage for me but would you mind from time to time just helping me drag it along in the form of a shoulder to cry on, an arm to wrap around me and help shield me from the pain or comforting words to remind me that I really do have worth, really do have value and although I am strong enough I don’t always have to carry it alone?”

As a former track runner I’ve learned to hate the sight of Nikes running as fast as possible away from me which is probably why my introduction went something more along these lines:

“Hi, I’m Sunny.”

As I preciously extended my fragile heart and placed it in your clumsy hands I ignored the one remaining piece of baggage, surreptitiously overlooking the way you could barely balance my heart in your palms, ignoring the way there would be no way you would take on one more piece of baggage. You revered me for being  a beautiful, Black, independent, prosperous, talented, driven, loving, passionate, caring, dedicated, spirited and proud woman but condemn me for any baggage I had. You took Usher’s approach and bowed out gracefully under the acknowledgment that it’s an obliterated heart you’re dealing with and it feels a little too much like moving mountains with a constant rainfall that comes along and washes away the progress from the climb you’ve made.

So, I pick up my bags and yes I am concerned I may hurt my back draggin’ all these bags behind me. I can only sit, hope, dream and wait for the moment someone tells me all I must hold onto is me. The day someone takes J-Harris’ approach and promises that for everything he’s done, he’ll make it up to me. Remind me again, every time I forget, staying right by my side to ensure I remember that I am a beautiful, Black, independent, prosperous, talented, driven, loving, passionate, caring, dedicated, spirited and proud woman and my best days are ahead of me.

I’ve had this conversation with so many of my friends over the years and what I leave you with is that sometimes we have to apologize for what’s been done to someone else on behalf of our gender. You can be most effective by wiping my tears away and getting rid of all my fears.

Love Always,


2 Responses to “Bag Lady”
  1. reesaspeaks says:

    this is a good piece!

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