I can vividly remember the day in late 2012 when Rihanna released her 7th album, Unapolegetic. The enchanting sounds of "Phresh Out the Runway" spoke to my soul as Rih talked that talk. A subtle voice in my head pronounced itself & suddenly there I was catwalking down the hallways of my school a la Naomi Campbell closing an Alaïa runway show. A few head nods and hand gestures freely escaped my body as the sound waves traveled from my iPhone 4S "My jewelers are diamond rollers, my rock chinchilla, some more for the fun, I'm rolling like rockstars, I got 50 muthafuckers in my watch with my Benz down". I felt the stares beaming on me, but you couldn't tell me I wasn't that bitch.
That day it registered to me what being unapologetic truly was, an "aha" moment is what my auntie Oprah would call it. Pieces of a puzzle in my mind connected as I ran down the list of my most favored figures: my mother & her bomb crew of besties, Kelis, Aaliyah, Rochelle from The Craft, Missy Elliot, Trina, Maya Angelou, Lil Kim, Tiffany Pollard, Rihanna, and the Knowles sisters all had something in common; they were all unapologetic.
Though they all had different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, there was an infectious aura that beamed through them which I gravitated towards. Not only were they mirrors of truth, but they sought after it and lived it. Easily defining them is impossible and even with unlimited access to all of the tools in the world, you'd still be unable to build a box to put them in. That strength, that charm, that swag, that fearlessness surmounted all boundaries. Like my shero's, I wanted to be an unapologetic black girl.
After that revelation, it dawned on me that the confidence these women all possessed came solely from knowing who they were. It didn't matter what they wore ( though, it was a great enhancement), or how much money they had, or the fame they acquired; what I praised them for was their essence, their soul, them living their truth.
As I emulated the metamorphosis process, though I battle with the inevitable insecurities that come with this human experience, I realized something about myself. The people that I was drawn to and the people closest to me, were unapologetic black girls. Aphorisms like "The apple don't fall far from the tree" and "you are who you attract" replayed in my head and I realized that I, too, was an unapologetic black girl. I made a mental note that I had experienced yet another "aha" moment shaping my livelihood- my auntie would be proud. From this point on, I also might have mistaken myself for Solange with the spirit animal of goddess Kali, but that is neither here nor there.
If you've experienced or can relate to being one of the only black girls in the workplace or school, you travel with this void that doesn't seem to fade away. You're yearning for more..blackness. I don't need the scent of grandma's peach cobbler to linger EVERYWHERE I go, but damn, can I have a lil' something?
The power of the mediasphere connected me to women with that same spirit and demeanor. From black girls who can recite Diamond & Princess' verses pound-for-pound on "Knuck If You Buck" to black girls that code better than any man I've ever encountered. Our path's might be different, but being unapologetic is what binds us. Thanks to you, I don't feel as alone anymore.
Being an unapologetic black girl supersedes a fetching Instagram hashtag , it is a lifestyle. A lifestyle defying the stereotypes, standards, and stigma's that seem to follow us on our journey; even when we're ten steps ahead. The movement of being "unapologetic" or "care-free" is a declaration that we're recognizing these implicit brandings and challenging them by living our most authentic lives, on our own terms, with absolutely no fucks given. We've taken these brandings and reduced them by collectively embracing all of the elements that make us different. There is absolutely no recipe to being a care-free black girl, Michelle Obama and Cardi B are illuminating hues in our spectrum.
We may not have the physical brandings that scarred on our ancestors, but society has made sure to perpetuate this cycle of abuse in other ways. It's empowering to know that despite these cyclical obstacles, we can brush our shoulders off, flip our hair and carry on. What's a hashtag , when you're really about that life?