The little girl did not realise she was different until the mother of her two best friends returned from south Africa and told them they could no longer play with her.
That they were moving to South Africia and they had to learn the rules.
Twin blond girls, they immediately began to ignore her. This was back in the 70’s when aparthied was rampant. But at the time the little girl didn’t understand, she only understood being ignored and to start internalising what was wrong with her? Why couldn’t they play together like they used to?
This was her first experience racisim.
The invisible weapon used to cause self doubt, to subjugate, to dehumanise, to cripple mentally…
For has long has she has known herself the little girl has been an outsider. The only girl growing up (the wrong sex for her mother) in a family of boys, the only Black family on the street, the only little girl who didn’t rough and tumble with the boys because she was wise beyound her years.
But something happened inside of her, even then. Her stubborness would not allow her mind to be subjugated by anyone. She refused to know her place. She refused to be defined or bow to the layers of prejudice and sterotype of being:
b) A Black female
c) A Black female with dark skin.
d) An ‘angry’ Black Female.
e) A permiscious Black female.
Instead she picked up a book or perhaps several. The library would only allow ten books out at a time and before she was 13 years old she had read the entire autobiographical series of books by Maya Angelou.
So early on the little girl had options of how to become a strong Black woman, with a voice. She could survive the madness of her mother. It would however be years later before the little girl stopped hiding behind the shame of her childhood. Too ashamed to speak about the effects of years of brutality of the mind, body and spirit, which seemed to be normalised after transending generation to generation.
Through misinterpretation of the bible, it being used has jusification for violence, to suppress and control the mind.
So, the little girl with her multi-layers of identities had to sift through the labels to define her own.