My roots. The vines that intertwine inside of me. They have made me who I am today. Sprouting before I was even conceived, my roots. I am going to spend the next 3 minutes explaining to you how my roots have been placed, nourished, and flourished.The soil that they were planted in comes from my ancestors, The water that has helped them grow was provided by my influencers, and the sunshine that keeps it alive lives within my culture.
Let’s begin with the ones who started it all, my ancestors, the soil of my roots. Although we have never met, I know them dearly. Their Black was the old black. The melanin that ran through their veins came from the hot land of Africa. Then when they were brought overseas their hard work built this nation and their beautiful black skin stayed preserved in the streets of hotlanta Georgia. It was there, in the south, that their skin tone became more than a matter of skin pigment. Their natural hair and color spoke volumes in the United states of America. Around that time my ancestors lived in an environment where suddenly white was their new black. Somebody grab that dog and say the words as you look around from the cotton fields to the negro only signs “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Africa anymore.” A sense of awakening, but it wasn’t a dream. It was their reality. Through my ancestors’ stories I have heard of their struggle, I am no stranger to their pain. I am a living example of how they overcame what they overcame. And thanks to that soil they placed and prepared for our future by removing the rocks and the weeds, we can live on amongst ourselves in our black which is now the new black.
After my ancestors, time passed, then came my influencers. They watered the foundation my ancestors had built. My influencers took care of my roots. When other colors tried to bring our black, which was becoming the new black, down they fought back. My influencer Martin Luther King Jr. fought back with love, hope, and dreams for a better nation under god indivisible with aspirations of liberty and justice for all. My influencer Malcolm X fought back with defensive maneuvers as he enforced our rights by any means necessary, therefore showing that my roots were not the kind to be messed with. And my influencer Langston Hughes fought back our naysayers with art, inspiring song, plays, poetry, and other works of literature. They nourished my roots and helped them grow. They also showed my roots love, a pertinent ingredient of agriculture.
Now we fast forward to today where my culture, shines bright on my roots, reflecting that self love and reassurance. We are realising how blessed we are with our new given rights. We use them to make new headway toward a true equal nation because trust me, America still has a long way to go. My culture is flourishing with enlightenment by blowing up social media with hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter and #MyBlackIsBeautiful because it is true. My beautiful black life matters. Everyday we grow more aware of ourselves and how gorgeous we are. People are jealous of our hair. The multitudes of styles that we can pull off. People are jealous of our skin. How beautifully dark and smooth it appears on our instagram feeds. People are jealous of our background. The dances we have created, the colorful arts and patterns that came from our homelands. People are so envious of what we have, they mock us, culturally appropriate our style. Because our black is truly the new black. Because we took our black back. Back to our roots.
They were planted in the soil from our ancestors. Watered by our influencers. And flourished in the sun of our new age culture. I take pride in my roots, because they will grow as i do. And eventually become like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:3. Black is sincerely the new black, brought back from the roots that I embrace with all of my heart. Blessed be the ones who have helped them grow.