I was reading about Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde the other day, two very successful and influential African American women writers. Morrison has won every writer's award to there is to win and the fascinating thing is- she's a black woman. [Now for those who are too dense and thinking to themselves, "why does her race matter?" Well, you're probably white and wouldn't understand the racial barriers and stereotypes that the black community constantly has to prove and break time and time again. And no matter how many times I explain how the racial institution works, you'd probably never understand unless you yourself were African American or a PoC.]
Anyways, I learned a valuable lesson from reading a couple pages from both of these authors. They happen to be intersectional black feminists, who uplift the black community's self-esteem. This is so important for me because when I grew up, all I saw on the media and read about were Caucasian characters, characters I couldn't relate to. These characters had happy and petty tales of puberty, intimacy, human relations. They had privilege; their story was safely placed in a suburb somewhere with enough money where at least one of their parents didn't have to work. These characters had almost no real life struggles. In reality, some stories don't get told. If you've ever read Precious, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Again, "why does race matter?" You don't have to be black for what I'm going to say this time. Contrary to popular belief, self-esteem is not something you build on your own. It is relative to your environment and people around you. It matters here because it's hard to build self-esteem in a society that barely views you as a person. " And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up." Toni Morrison, Beloved. 1987.