By Tanya Barnett • 


Dear world, no longer will I shrink away from my blackness in an attempt to make you finally love me.

Oh you had me fooled.

Hoodwinked.

Bamboozled.

You made me think if I permed my hair you would love me.

You made me think if I wore a size 2 you would love me.

You made me think if I was lighter you would love me.

You made me think if I wore hazel contacts you would love me.

You made me think if I was taller you would love me.

You made me think if I got another degree you would love me.

You made me think if I wasn’t so damn loud you would love me.

You made me think if I shaked my ass just the way you like you would love me.

No matter what I did for you to love my blackness, none of it mattered. You still hated me and my blackness.

You loved my hair.

You loved my size.

You loved my complexion.

You loved my eyes.

You loved my height.

You loved my intelligence.

You loved my meekness.

You loved my ass.

But you didn’t love me. You used me and threw me away because you hated my blackness.

I got something for you though, I will always:

Acknowledge my blackness

Cherish my blackness

Love my blackness

Share my blackness

Enjoy my blackness

Celebrate my blackness

Be unapologetically Black


Tanya Barnett is a veteran and advocate, anti-racist Womanist, author, an adjunct professor, and a 2018 N.A.A.C.P. Hall of Famer. She has been featured on OWNTV, Essence Magazine, Huffington Post, The Today Show, Tom Joyner Morning Show, TEDx, Johns Hopkins University, NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, FBI, EPA, Good Morning Washington, Great Day Washington, etc. She’s a 2x triathlete and 2x marathoner, historical fiction lover, wife, mom and an energetic Glam-ma.

2 thoughts on “My Blackness

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