My girl Carole wrote an interesting post on her new blog FocusedPurpose.typepad.com on why she hikes in Runyon Canyon.
Here's an excerpt:
I hike because I love black people. We are some of the warmest, most beautiful people on the planet. Our natural flavor is often imitated but never duplicated. Recently, love found me and I relocated to Valencia. Suffice it to say, I don’t see myself that often in my new neighborhood. Oftentimes, when I do, they are in an interracial relationship and colorblind which means they can’t see me. Definitely can’t speak to me. Ok, don’t cry for me. I am responsible for my choices. I have love. I am happy. Most importantly, my man and I have decided to buy elsewhere. We are moving to Blacktopia, with black people everywhere, we have decided. I am looking forward to it. In the interim, I miss black people, terribly. So I hike weekly to get my black folk fix, for now.
I come out and support the hike because I am an American woman of African descent. Somewhere I read that women were the niggers of the world. Gloria Steinem? Yoko Ono? I really can’t remember. I tend to focus on the truth not so much the messenger. Logic leads me to the conclusion that American women of African descent are niggers squared. For the most part our humanity and womanhood is validated by no one. Not even our male counterparts in a lot of cases (Brothers, I am not male bashing, just speaking the truth- I am your ally for change). Unless we are doing our best white woman impersonation we don’t even fit the description of “beautiful”. No one else on the planet has our unique exquisitely beautiful hair. Yet, most of us engage relentlessly in a futile battle with our hair. White supremacy and politics of hair, has taught us that when worn naturally, our hair is ugly or dreadful. Furthermore, we need a mix with something other than black or African blood, in order to make our hair (and skin for that matter) “good”. Really? WTF!!! The politics of hair is another blog for another day. The bottom line is this- if we do not validate ourselves, we will walk our whole journey invalid, hating ourselves. We have been sold and have bought so many lies for so long.
The truth of the matter is everyone imitates our beautiful rich color, our exquisite features and our full curves. On other women these same attributes are described as beautiful, yet on us there is negative language- “ghetto booties”, “thick lips”, etc. The language used to describe us and our beauty is negative and designed to break us down. The language has never been designed to build us up. Think about it. Porcelain and pasty can both be used to describe white skin. Since the intent is to build up the white woman and put her on a pedestal, she is described as having porcelain skin. As a result of centuries of external and internal negative talk, digested lies and poison ingesting; loving and taking care of ourselves is the exception rather than the rule.
I hike because somewhere I read that the average American woman of African descent’s dress size is 22. We are devalued and rejected by ourselves and others. We are lonely and eating ourselves to poor health and early death. It is our responsibility to save ourselves. No one else can or will. I am committed to living a healthy, happy life. It is for this reason I am not a size 22. Make no mistake I have engaged in very unhealthy relationships with food. (I have also nurtured my share of unhealthy relationships with people as well-different blog!) Just as those other women in unhealthy relationships with food, I bore the evidence, extra unhealthy weight. So, I hike to continue to love, improve, and invest in myself as well as encourage and support my sisters that are committed to doing the same.