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This little light of mine


This little light of mine

A collection of words and thoughts from the Resistance Stories interviewees, story collectors, curators, published feminist poets, and Black spirituals. This text was written by Natalie during an analysis session held in New York in 2019. During this analysis session, curators from each of the regions came together to share stories and analyse their collective meaning.

Being free means a lot to me because right now, I’m in a time of darkness. A cage. I’m scared and afraid. If only they can just light me properly, you know? Then I can explore. I can be free. I can live where I want to be, and be who I’m meant to be.

But right now? Right now? My

Body [is] too thick,

Skin too dark, Hair too kinky Name too ethnic Clothes, too bold, My story, not relatable, Me, too African. Add a dash of white into it and you’ll be great!

So I became, Mary-Jane, Bleached my skin just a tad bit, Painstakingly straightened my hair Bought grey skirt suits for the office and blue denim for the weekends Only wore my kitenge at weddings, Spoke only the Queen’s English. I danced to Taylor swift, I forgot that my foremothers communicated through music, through dance, through poetry, through stories.

Conformity had me in its grip, and I mistook it for a loving embrace. Perhaps eventually I will feel the claws digging into my skin.

I’m going to let it shine …

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I used to think I knew, but I don’t know what it’s like to be free yet.

I don’t know.

I know whatever liberation looks like, I’m not shirking. I’m not quieting myself.

When I am afraid to speak is when I need to speak. That is when it is most important.

There’s no such thing as a voiceless girl—my friends and I, we aren’t voiceless. Even if we choose not to speak.

But that night I did.

… that night he met a nerve in me …

“You’re unworthy!”


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