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how i know God is real: a love letter to black women

"in the beginning God created"...and Black women clearly must have been there

when i think of salvation, i think of black women. not the kind of salvation only concerned with my soul. but the kind of saving that has everything to do with the flesh.

you see, when i have been on the brink of destruction most - it was black women whose salvific work set me free of my most dangerous self-deprecation, invited me to love myself tenderly, and challenged me to own myself in a world that said i belonged to everyone else but myself.

“it was black women who challenged me to own myself in a world that said i belonged to everyone else but myself.”

i think of Mrs. Morrow at the financial office of the university where i went to undergrad. how she greeted me and my concerned parents with the information that we needed to know that i could *financially and academically* survive at a pwi hundreds of miles away from home.

i think of the young women i met in my freshman dorm who would become my big sisters and line sisters, who introduced me to who i would become and valued the nerdy black girl that had never found her place in high school.

i think of the myriad of aunties i enjoyed growing up - both by blood and by bond - the ones who watched me when momma was working, who gave handme downs when momma couldn’t make ends meet, who prepared a most holy table of bread and koolaid before i was even allowed to take communion in the pews.

i think of my mother and my grandmas and my big mama who knew the Lord but also laid down the law, each in their own ways. These women who birthed me, whooped me when i needed it, wiped tears, whipped up magic before #blackgirlmagic was a thing, and made miracles every thanksgiving (shout out tupac).

i think of my aunt sarah’s laughter. how the raspiness and heartiness makes everything else in the world stand still for a moment as you can’t help but laugh too.

i think of the bubble baths momma used to let me take every now and again when i was extra good and how she would always wear her signature Sunflowers perfume, letting me have just a dab on my collarbone - making me feel just as divine as she had always been to me.

i think of the pops to the head i received during hair combing time while sitting low between momma’s thighs on the living room floor - how they preemptively prepared me for life’s blows, teaching me to steady my head at all times.

it is because of these women, i know that God is real.

and it is for them that i do this work.

writing of worlds conceived of and created by them. by us.

because we been creating and healing and holding and cooking and daring since the beginning of time.

because it is always the right time to honor the essence that moves through every one of us.

because loving us will continue to save us.

and saving us, saves the world.



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