What does it mean to me to be black?
Martin Luther King Jr. led a march on August 27th, 1963 so that colored students such as I can sit in the same classroom as white students. He led a march so I could go to a predominantly white university. He led a march so that I can obtain the same level of education such as whites. He led a march so that I can receive the same amount of respect as whites.
I am not afraid of my ethnicity; I am not intimidated of being the only Nigerian-American student in my classroom. I am proud of who I am and the color of my skin. Race was invented in the twenty-fifth century by the whites in order to divide themselves from the rest of us. Labels only distort our vision from reality and put barriers between our societies. Black is just a color, just a label that we are all taught and expected to accept. But what I have learned throughout my life is that I am not just a label. I am not equivalent to the sticker everyone peels off of an apple before taking the first bite.
I have a darker skin tone, my lips are considered big to some, but the color of my skin does not define who I am. Being black in today’s society is more acknowledged than it was back in the twenty-fifth centuries. We now live in a generation where black lives are now considered, nappy hair is considered beautiful, and many crave black attributes.
Our society is continuously changing. Black women project and embrace their beauty upon various social media platforms. Defining hash tags such as #IsYourMelaninOnFleek, #BlackGirlMagic, and #BlackIsBeautiful, are trending and influencing more and more black and colored women every day. Instead of being ashamed of our lips, hair or skin tone, we are recognizing the beauty we were all born with. We are now embracing our black beauty. Being black to me is being powerful and worthy. I look at my complexion and magnify the beauty of my melanin, and have finally come to the realization that I AM WORTHY. I AM BEAUTIFUL. I AM BLACK.