I’m a young black woman and I don’t have a lot of black friends.
It’s almost mortifying and infamous to acknowledge, and it’s become something more problematic as I’ve gotten older. It’s likewise been something, in recent years, that’s been both a thriving hope and an area of discontent for me as well.
I’ve privately envied other young blacknes women who have a close circle of ride-or-die lovers, a tight professional clique and structure of those who look like them, and groupings of beings they can relate to on so many levels. I’ve had moments when I please I would have chosen to attend an HBCU for undergrad and need to get to homecomings and step appearances and ordeal all the prunes of rich color culture, record, and education instead of attending a private school.
Almost all of my friends are white or other ethnicities that aren’t black, and while I do love and appreciate them all, they can’t relate to some of the things I suffer both privately and publicly as a young color maid. Some of them have been great listeners but they still can’t amply grasp what it’s like for me living and breathing in this skin. I’m finding that as I’m getting older, and as the world seems to be spiraling in an often non-progressive tendency, I need to connect with more men and women who look like me, that can relate to my quandary and fights and challenges as a young pitch-black wife moving through this world.
And not just the world as we now know it, but too the world of the workplace, the world of dating, and future world-wides I predict exploring.
I’ve always been that one black daughter in a ocean of non-black cavities and faces. At academy, in different vicinities growing up, in the position, or at various social gatherings, that’s been openly and jokingly referred to as the “white black girl” or “bougie black girl” by different groups of both lily-white and black people, and candidly, there have been times when being invoked by those names hurt. Peculiarly when they came out of the mouths of beings I’ve been well acquainted with.
Also, hearing things like, “Well, you are aware, you’re not like most black girls” or “You act white” or “Are you desegregated? ” or listening “Maybe you’re really making things too personally…” when suffering a few moments of intolerance or racism or what can feel like an endless quantity of microaggressions eventually takes a toll when I have no inner circle of black lovers or chap friends to process these things with.
I need more pitch-black friends.
Sure, I’ve had a few casual color friends here and there, but not too many relationships that were seriously anchored in solidarity.
I need more black friends who understand what it’s like to exist in the one-foot-in and one-foot-out world of co-existing in different environs where there are not a lot of people who look like us in the area. I need more black friends who I can cry with and pour my nature out to when I suffer a few moments of racism or injustice and get dismissed and told, “Don’t make things too personally.” I need more black girlfriends who understand the world of having natural color mane and experimenting with sew-ins, crochets, protective styles, and natural hair upkeep concoctions. I also need more pitch-black girlfriends I can spurt freely with when it comes to showing love, respect, and our desires for connecting, dating, and falling in love with strong, smart-alecky, successful color boys. I need more pitch-black friends who are open to exploring different artwork, cultures, media, and activities outside of the world of pitch-black culture. I need more pitch-black friends who will embrace me as I am vs. prejudging me as bougie or counting me out because I don’t have as much street-cred as they may have. We may have different backgrounds and experiences, but I’m still woke. Trust.
And I need more pitch-black friends who simply get what it’s like being black.
God knows I’m grateful for the friends I do have from all different hastens and backgrounds, but I recognize the significance and inevitability of being pitch-black and involve more pitch-black friends. You have to have beings in your life who get who you are, get where you’re coming from, and get where you’re trying to go.