"1619: 400 years ago, a ship arrived in Virginia, bearing human cargo. The arrival of 20 and odd enslaved Africans in 1619 has been called the beginnings of U.S. Slavery. This 400th anniversary of the Africans’ arrival in what is now the USA is being observed this year. . . a tribute to perseverance and resilience." (E.R. Shipp, Special to USA TODAY, Feb. 8, 2019)
I've been thinking a lot about this history. My history. My sense of identity as a black American has grown exponentially with my exposure to black history, culture, and an increased awareness of a shared sense of place. As I have been exploring these ideas and my reflections on family, I cannot help but center a sense of belonging. Side by side is this idea of a personal brand (Dr. Bryant Marks ) which has been inflicted upon me simply because of the color of my skin; it is a blessing and a burden. The blessing: it anchors me in a community who share this history, giving me a place to land, when suffering because of said personal brand threatens (or simply does) weigh me down.
They usually look like ordinary rocks -
The porter on the train;
The housekeeper in the uniform;
The girl at the school-door, book in hand, longing to be let inside.
Places they come from vary, though
They maintain a certain, specific identity within,
Shaped and formed by percolating
Through porous, gleaming [white] rock.
The various colors are from different minerals,
Found in soil and rock,
Water having moved through and around.
Born of circumstance and geography
Four hundred years
transforming, against their will,
Emerging crystallized gems.
Not to be mistaken for a geode, a rock with a hollow in it,
These are a geological wonder
Intricate patterns and colors,
Formed within rhyolitic volcanic ash,
I'm Kimberly. Single mother by choice. Soon to be wife. Holder of space. Maker of place. Mom. Mama. Mommy. Mitch. These are my thoughts, reflections, ideas and random observations about raising twin sons.
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