Scratching the Surface – Audre Lorde

“So instead of joining together to fight for more, we quarrel between ourselves for a larger slice of the one pie.  Black women fight between ourselves over men, instead of pursuing and using who we are and our strengths for lasting change; Black women and men fight between ourselves over who has more of a right to freedom, instead of seeing each other’s struggles as a part of our own and vital to our common goals;  Black and white women fight between ourselves over who is more the oppressed, instead of seeing those areas in which our causes are the same.”

While reading the book, Sister Outsider written by Audre Lorde, I came across a very interesting chapter titled, Scratching the Surface.  On page 51, I recognized that the text above, is not only profound but, I believe it is a composite of thoughts that can all agree upon, no matter what your walk in life maybe.  I felt so empowered not only as an African-American woman, but also as a human being who is always evolving and intrigued by the wisdom and knowledge of others, especially that from another African-American woman.  I’ve been taught to embrace all women regardless of their race, religion, beliefs, etc.

Over the years, I’ve practiced the discipline to motivate, inspire, encourage and empower women, and sometimes, their children.  You may wonder why I used the word discipline here.  Discipline simply means to train yourself to do something by controlling your behavior.  A colleague of mine says that discipline means to teach and guide.  I operate, mostly from the latter.  With all of the events happening in the United States, lately around racism, now is the time more than ever to not fight between ourselves but as Audre Lorde said, we need to see each other’s struggles as part of our own and it’s vital to our common goals.

I am a Black, Christian woman living in the United States.  My walk in life speaks louder than any of my words.  As a motivational speaker, I must “walk the walk and talk the talk” as they say.  I am constantly on the quest to finding the success formula that fits my life or the secret to finding it.

The Bible tells us, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding.”  If you follow me on social medias, one thing about me is, I love to read, read, and read some more.  I don’t just read to collect books to place them on a book shelf, but I read, to retain understanding that the Bible speaks about!  I read to understand life, to unveil more within myself, I read to help me interpret my dreams. I read to understand God’s unchanging Word.  I read to learn ways to challenge myself as a writer, through other reading other bestsellers.  I read to understand love and the power of the union of marriage and how to raise my kids and the youth that I work with.  I read to understand the history of my African-American heritage and culture because clearly there was more to the story of what I read in my history books about slavery and the civil rights movement, than what was printed an any of my history books.

I am not a revolutionary or a feminist.  I am a woman, an African-American woman, who lives on the surface of oppression daily.  I was called derogatory names because of the light skin hue of my skin. I lived in a two parent home while my peers lived in crowded or unsafe conditions.  So since being a child, my people taught me not to be proud of who I was and where I come from so I hid behind the many pages of my journals and the grand prize winner of many writing and handwriting contests, just to prove to myself, that I was somebody.  I fought against too many women in the past over “one man” as Audre Lorde said, to only end up broken, having babies out-of-wedlock, and during my-matrimony cause it wasn’t anything sent from God.  Even in my career today, I fight against black men who may see me a threat whenever my position is elevated.  I however, see myself not as a threat but as a partner in our passions.

So again, black man, black woman and anyone else on this earth that I cross paths with, my fight is not between ourselves it is against all social injustices and health disparities that plague our country and world.  Dear friend, the greatest commandment is love and I love each of you even if it’s from afar.

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