During the first years of my life, I was brought up in racial segregation by women and men who nursed me on our Black tradition of hope, optimism, persistence and perseverance—women and men who taught me to believe in the “never before” because that is what faith is, how transcendence happens and how we overcome.
Like a lot of Black women, as a professional, caretaker to a child, partner to my spouse, attentive daughter and sibling, and sister in a sister-circle of friends, I’m connected to and care for a lot of people. Those relationships give richness and dimension to my life.
But they take work.
And, frankly, like a lot of us, I was invested in my image as a “strong Black woman.” The woman who never breaks, never halts, never gives in. Who works “twice as hard to get half the way.” I thought that I could keep right on walking with the weight of all that emotional turmoil getting heavier and heavier on my back.
But, like a lot of us, the emotional pressures of the last few years have come to bear and have taken a toll, sapping my personal power, wearing on my spirit and tapping my reserves of strength.