Black Girls Be This: a Meditation on Holy Week and HB-2

This week is the holiest of holy weeks in the Christian faith. With Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Resurrection (or Easter) Sunday, it is supposed to be a time of honoring the greatest sacrifice made and a celebration of renewal. Newness. But one cannot bask in the Great Re-Do without first taking ownership and account of what has been done.

Last night, in the moments before the new day, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB-2 into law, effectively eliminating anti-discrimination regulations that protect those in the LGBTQ communities and veterans. Many North Carolinians responded with #WeAreNotThis and while I understand the sentiment, the truth is, we are. And we always have been.

#WeAreThat when we ridicule the little boy who likes playing with dolls. #WeAreThat when the little girl mentions a boy from school and we immediately ask if that’s her boyfriend. #IAmThat when both of my examples use gender roles that exist on a socially constructed binary and #YouAreThat if you didn’t even notice until I pointed it out.

So, yes. We are this. Our state is this. The world is this. And just as the people of Golgotha were all #GoJesus on Sunday, I’m sure they would have called you a bald-faced liar if you tried to tell them that they would be #CrucifyHim on Friday. They would have sworn that #WeAreNotThis. And yet…

But as a Christian woman, I have to believe in a God of renewal and resurrection; a God that can empower us to live a life worth hashtagging. Because as Reverend Lisa Yebuah of Edenton Street United Methodist Church says, “what God can do in us, God can do through us.” So we will be the ones that ask and honor folks’ preferred gender pronouns. We will be the ones to let our children grow and develop without shackling them to gender roles. We will be the ones to let everyone cry and everyone get dirty and everyone play sports if they so choose and love who they so choose and pee where they so choose. We are not this yet, but with intentionality, communication, re-education and most importantly, Love, #WeCanBe.

This post was inspired by the sermon preached by Rev. Lisa Yebuah at Edenton Street United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.

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Black Girls Be Choosin

Im not sure if this is a post, an essay, a poem or a song.

Im not sure if this will be short or if this will be long

All I know is that it is mine to decide.

Life is Choice.

This thing called life is nothing more than a collection of choices, both conscious and subconscious and their subsequent results.

While in DC I had an awesome talk with a woman named Ann.  I pretty woman with brown eyes, short brown hair and an easy smile. Catholic and pro-choice she didnt allow her politics to affect her pleasantries and I respected that.  I had never had a conversation about abortion in which I disagreed with the person but respected the discourse.  I told her that I, myself dont think I could go through with it.  I am a serial nurturer and I get emotional thinking about my future children but that is me.  That is my choice. I have a great many thoughts and have learned a great many things but the only thing I know for sure is that I dont know anything.  I am not bold enough to tell someone how they should live their life or use their body.  I am not bold enough to make that choice for someone else.

When my mother was pregnant with me she was 26 and unwed. Folks gave her money and told her to abort me.  She decided not to even before she knew whether or not my father would stick around.  He did.  And they have been married for 23 years.  I told Ann this and she said it was a beautiful story, which it is, and I also told her that I know I am an anomaly especially in the Black community.  But I told her that even if my mother had aborted me and my parents stayed together I would still be me.  I am more than a meeting of chromosomes.  I am experiences, situation, Choices.  I am a choice.

Im saying all that to say that yes I have decided to be celibate.  No I am not on birth control. No I have never had an abortion.  And I have refrained from these things not because of a mandate or a religion but because I chose to.  Every day I choose to live my life the way I see fit.  And I believe that everyone should have the same choice.