For the boss who called me a goddamn coward and chuckled as her words split me, for the teacher who called me useless, eyes hot and mean, when I did not follow her instructions to a T. For the countless white men who broke into me with that word, and for the men, women, boys, and girls who pushed me down ’cause my chocolate skin, ’cause pride, ’cause of the day of the week. For the guy friend who called me lazy and lazy and lazy one mo’gin. For the lovers who questioned my worth. For the girl friend who called me out my name always for the heck of it. For those who lied to dampen the power of my truth and told me that I wasn’t, couldn’t and never would be, I resolve this for you –
For the friend who spoke so much truth into my soul it hurt but she gave me permission to let my sun shine through the cracks, for the ones who stoked my fires, laid their hands over me and prophesied. For those who told me I was a warrior with armor decorated in elaborate scrolls, and for those who proclaimed me a conqueror of my circumstance. For those who smiled and said they wished they could see me when I was done, pride glistening in their eyes like tears. For my mother who said she loved me from the moment she held me in her arms, for my father who says he’s proud of me over and over again like the number of leaves on the trees, I resolve this for you –
I will be loud so that my voice cracks the mountains.
I will proclaim that I too am a woman in my imperfect speech.
I will be free so that my purpose can be realized unhindered, completely.
I will be phenomenal.
I resolve one thing: To be every part of me.