Hey Black child

Monday, November 18, 2019 - 6:57pm

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Shannon Wright for NPR

Hey Black Child, 

 

The one that still lingers in the body of a twenty-one-year-old young woman, struggling to find her place, do you know who you are? To the nine-year-old girl who struggles with her natural hair, do you know who you want to be? And to the one-year-old little girl, still fresh and innocent, do you know who you can be? 

 

If you’re listening, I want to share something with you. 

 

My mom made me read a book called The DNA Field and The Law of Resonance, and from viewing the title of the book my initial reaction was disappointment. The title screamed pretentious scientific theory, which decreased my level of interest. Ever since I was young, I never really liked science. For me, learning the concepts always seemed too complicated and I always ended up feeling dumb afterward. I’ve felt like this for a long time, until I gave the book a chance. To my surprise, I learned something I did understand. I learned about the heart. 

 

I learned that the heart is the most powerful generator of energy in the human body. The heart has an electromagnetic field that is 60 times stronger than the brain. So corny cliche sayings like, “follow your heart,” are actually valuable, and not just filler lines for the endings of Disney movies. The book says the power of your heart is so strong that if you really trust your heart, if you really wish with your heart, then the things you deeply want to manifest are not so far behind or out of reach. 

 

Initially I thought this was so cool, but then reality settled in. The soft voice that grew up but remained tied to my being, asked me a question. The Black child within me asked, “Why did we stop trusting our heart?” That was a valid question and called for a moment of self reflection. Black child, we grew up. We started trusting our brain over our heart. 

 

But that’s not all we did. We were forced to grow up. Black child, we were forced to recognize our place in the world. And by place, I mean the place in which society has tried to keep us stagnant. We had to learn how to conduct ourselves in a society that continuously monitors and judges our behavior. We had to learn how to breathe in a world where the air is so heavy and polluted with stereotypes. We had to learn that no matter the complexion of our pigment, we were still beautiful, no matter what the world said. We were so preoccupied with learning how to heal the wounds that cut through our melanin, we forgot about our heart. We were so busy growing up and learning, we simply began relying on our mind. We forgot about our heart.

 

But Black child, it’s okay. Self-reflection is good and leads us into a moment of self enlightenment. 

 

I told you in the beginning I was going to share something with you. 

 

Black child, I want you to know your heart is so strong. I hope you never forget that. We become so consumed in growing up and trying to become what we want to be, we’ve settled with the power of our minds. But the same way your mind can help you finish an exam and write a paper, your heart can help you manifest anything you want. 

 

Black child, remember the cliche disney lines that tell you to be true to your heart, because this world is tough. Sometimes remembering to love your melanin is tough and that’s not something the mind can teach. Keep your heart close because it’s been scientifically proven that its the strongest force in your body. Black child, your heart can help you manifest who you want to be. 

 

Black child, we were born in this skin for a reason. Your skin is divine. The way your hair kinks, coils, and curls in its own order is divine. The way your skin glistens boldly under the sun, is divine. The way you rise like the sun time and time again, is the heart of a divine child. 

 

You’re going to learn that there are stereotypes about you that aren’t true. You’re going to learn to navigate this world that feels like it loves the aesthetic of your culture, but couldn't care less about you. But Black child, as you learn with your mind I want you to remember that your heart is your greatest power. 

 

 When they call you ghetto for dancing the way you dance, it’s easy to let those words marinate in your mind. But remember the sacred rhythm between you and your heart. No one hears it but you, so keep dancing. Let that remind you of who you are. When they tell you you’re too loud and you find yourself trying to be quieter, don’t let it consume you. Don’t let it marinate your mind. Sing your song from the roof to the mountain tops. You are not loud, you are not ghetto, your heart is just creating a world where you can be who you want to be. You are your own order and you are divine. 

 

Don’t think what you can be, feel what you can be. 

 

Black child, it’s okay to grow, it’s okay to flaunt your intelligent mind, but please remember your roots. Remember your heart and that it is full of life and nutritious like fruit. 

 

Hey Black child, one last thing,

 

In the words of Countee Cullen, “Hey Black child, do you know who you are? Do you know who you really are? Do you know you can be what you want to be?” Just ask your heart, not your mind, and your manifestations will come easily.