I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I am sending you love. What happened to you has been a wake up call about the traumas of being multiply marginalized in this world. I hope you get exactly what you need.
So much love,
Hey sis. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am thinking about you and sending you love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. What’s been going on with you, girl? Maybe you felt invisible, maybe you felt like you deserved this particular type of pain? I just don’t know. I do know that you are probably on the receiving end of a lot of anger and frustration, some of which has to do with your situation and some of which is connected to you simply because you’ve become a symbol of our decidedly not post-racial society. I hope you can find support, healing, and empathy as you move forward. And I hope that the rest of us can see your story as an opportunity to move forward in the world with a spirit of support, healing, and empathy.
I feel like I know you. You represent any number of blackgirls I see every day carrying pain that the world can’t see. I wish the hopelessness you felt in a moment of self-demise could be retracted…that I could help heal what was broken…that you could see in yourself the beauty and majesty that was there all along.
Blackgirl to Blackgirl, I wish that self-hate crimes didn’t exist, that blackgirls didn’t feel the need to be so strong, and that the raced histories and legacies that frame the scenario you initially told were not so prevalent. Truth is, I feel speechless around how to approach my disappointment and confusion in the staging of the incident. Racial politics are complicated and our public dialogue needs to be shrouded in honesty. The untruth you told jeopardizes the credibility of other blackgirls’ stories, myself included. I’m struggling with knowing how to hold you accountable and hold you UP at the same time. But one thing I feel full voiced about is my unwavering support of YOUR WELL BEING. I know how it feels to be overwhelmed with hopelessness and pain. I know how it feels to be pushed in on all sides (multiple discriminations happening at once). I know how it feels to hurt so bad that you want to hurt yourself.
My hope for you, moving forward, is that you get the support and help you need to be hopeful, whole, and at peace.
In solidarity & love,
I wish everything about this story wasn’t true. I wish you were not lying in a hospital bed with scars that you will have to live with for your entire life. I wish we didn’t live in a world that makes Black girls feel invisible. I wish the terror you felt on the inside didn’t feel like the terror of being ambushed while you walked in a park alone, a terror that so many Black women have felt and do feel everyday. I wish we could tell the truth about racism, so that we would be clear that your singular lie against the KKK in no way equates to the systematic reign of terror that they have perpetrated on Black women. I wish that broken and bruised black bodies weren’t the only credible forms of evidence in our fight against racism, since even the broken bodies frequently aren’t believed. I wish that sexism did not create a world in which Black girls’ bodies are collateral damage in the war on racism. I wish we knew better how to stay well in a world hell-bent on making us unwell. I wish I could say that I didn’t feel anger and embarrassment when I found out that some parts of your story are apparently untrue. But then I wish we lived in a world where you could have told us your truths, your pain, and your struggle, and been believed.
I hope you are surrounded in love and support. I hope that healing is forthcoming. I hope you see someday the outpouring of care you received from all races of people. I hope that care is not so swiftly retracted. And I hope that anybody who would wish you harm, any opportunist who would equate your misguided act with a reverse ism of any sort, would think again and then take a seat.
You are not heavy. You are our sister. And we have your back.
My Sister Sharmeka,
I have spoken your name with my students at Spelman and in private send you love and affirmations. We recognized that your body was experiencing pain but now it seems there was much more pain than we could have recognized. I will continue to speak your name in love and to encourage others to try to understand and listen in hopes that no other black girl feels so silenced and invisible and alone that she experiences such pains. I wish you peace and recovery but mostly I want you to be surrounded by many experiences of black girl love that crowd out the noise of black girl hate. You have sisters and brothers who are sending you fierce love but wanting you to know that you must be accountable for your choices. In these difficult times please remember to ask for what you need.
With so much love,
What can I say but I am sorry. I am sorry that you, your life and your story are being reduced to catchy headlines and two minute news clips. I am sorry that, for many, you will become a symbol and cease to be a real person with needs and concerns. Most of all, I am sorry that you are in pain, in any and every sense. I am sending you love, healing energy and recognition.
Wellness is my wish for you: healing for the wounds that festered before the fire and the ones opened by the flame.
- Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
- The Color Purple (Book) by Alice Walker
- Bailey’s Cafe by Gloria Naylor
- Sunset, Break You Down & Run Away by Georgia Anne Muldrow
- Black Girl Pain by Talib Kweli ft. Jean Grae
- Online Counseling College – Self harm
- 30 Day Self Harm Challenge Questions
- Black Women and Self HarmNAMI African American Resources
- The Impact of Racial Trauma on African Americans
- Responding to Traumatic Stress in Communities of Color