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An Ode to Black History Month_ February 2021

In honor of Black History Month. I decided to address a provocative issue regarding race. The below is a commentary on the treatments, attitudes and insensitivity that still exist regarding being a single Black Woman in American Culture today. It is an account of personal experiences, and the reflections on such.

Challenge the norm, and Fuck up the Status Quo.

I live in a neighborhood where the discomfort I feel about my race is profound. The White neighbors make comments like what did the pot call the kettle Stashana?

Their insensitivity is disturbing, yet their denial is worse. I am left with the responsibility of feeling as if the expression of my distaste for their disrespect is exaggerated or invalid. My complaints are labeled as a flaw in my perception???? Yet, the White Men who neighbor find comfort in using phrases like ‘I disrespected a hoe.’ I am a fairly new resident in what is seemingly a middle to upper class neighborhood; as America would describe it.

In reality I am left to presume it’s the safest way to inadvertently extend disrespect to a young Black Female Entrepreneur. Yet due to these roundabout comments, I question if my new presence here, threatens the very fabric of their need to still appear as the dominant White Male in American society. Nonetheless, we’ve all felt the sting of an unwanted advance or an inappropriate cat call, but how far is too far?

I feel ostracized, criticized, wronged, and bewildered. My valid complaints seem no match for their repulsive white privilege as society would call it. Is the Black Woman, still the only one to blame for their outrageous behavior? I’m sure they would say rap music has everything to do with it.

I’ve been known to say, I don’t believe in race. What I meant to say was I don’t believe in the predetermined categories these same White Men have designed to keep me under their filthy oppression. As described, I am a Black Woman. I identify as Caribbean. I am also an entrepreneur, business owner, immigrant, pioneer and a role model. I write these words with careful consideration after sincere contemplation. I am also aware my words are far reaching, in perpetuity in this digital age.

I strive to be a Brand that promotes, supports, exemplifies inclusivity. I am however being greatly impacted by the color of my skin in my new found home and community. I question if my femaleness affects their lack of respect, yet it is my sincere intention to affect all the youths who strive for the same. I want to be a shining example for every person of color who aims to achieve this same level of autonomy entrepreneurship can provide.

We need to live in a world where I am fearless that future generations won’t feel the need to pen the same essay. Not due to the suppression of their voice, but perhaps as a result of, dare I say; the achievement of authentic, unadulterated racial equality for all. It is my utter dismay that in 2021, I am faced with the same struggles as Rosa Parks. Am I to forever demand a seat on the front of the bus? Are you denying entry because of the Black face so proudly displayed on the front of my marketing materials? Do I always have to politely wait for you to service the White Woman first, although I’ve already spent money in this store? As of this writing, I’ve been waiting for a call back or follow up email from the same store owner for three weeks now. He would probably say, I was overreacting.

Yes, I’ve worked hard and I’ve accomplished much, but the struggles I face are far too deep rooted in centuries of oppression. I can’t live in a neighborhood full of “White People” as they are classified by the institutions long before me have classified them; be successful, smart, beautiful, intelligent, witty, cunning and good at what I do, without the utmost blatant scrutiny. I’m unsure if Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey or Haile Selassie

would disagree?

It’s a difficult year for everyone. Why does it have to be so much harder for the Black Woman?

I express these thoughts, not discounting the overwhelming support I've garnered from wide ranging nationalities around the planet. I am, also in no way trying to undermine the success of the smallest independently owned, female operated business and its effect worldwide. My candles have traveled 🧳 the globe 🌍 and it is my proudest accomplishment to share, they’ve reached all 6 continents, but why after all this am I so deeply hurt by the derogatory comments of the “White Man”?

It is because, it’s a pain my ancestors shared. It span centuries and crosses time and transgresses a nation for lifetimes and beyond. It is a pain my ancestral grandmother felt as she picked their cotton and was subjected to their every unwanted desire. Am I to bear the cross of her suffering for an eternity?

When is a comment just a comment?

How far is too far?

What will it take for me to achieve the privacy I desperately crave?

And why do I have to explain myself for that so indescribably much?

The utter disappointment I feel is palpable. I am freedom. Freedom from your persecution, perception, lies, disrespect, abuse, insecurity, male gaze, and the like. I disregard your need to feel superior and I assure you of the impact my tenacity will bring to this Black Lives Matter ✊🏿 movement.

As a woman I’ll never stop fighting.

As an entrepreneur, I’ll never stop working.

As a Black Woman I’ll never stop reminding you of the pain you caused.

As Stashana I’ll forever defy you.

As an American, I’ll be forced to demand equal treatment forever until this bullshit no longer affects my world and the nonsense ceases.

And because I am a revolutionary, you’ll have to forever remain in awe of my excellence and that will be your cross to bear.

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