Rhonda Rokki Harper, surfer
Identity is an interesting element for all living people. It changes over time, and for some of us, it may even be fluid. But regardless of how we define ourselves and our identities, I think we can all agree that a person’s identity should at least be of their own consent and choosing. This is not always the case in our culture. Stereotypes and consistent media conditioning have communicated messages to us about how certain people are supposed to look, dress, speak, eat, dance, socialize, and otherwise live their lives. To step outside of this pigeonholing can feel risky and uncertain, but for black women and girls this is a must.
Unfortunately, unless you are reading DDS Magazine or a similar type of publication, the “versions” of black womanhood offered up to you probably are not enough to encompass all that you are. Black women are unique, intelligent, inspiring, and we come in many different forms. Sure, we can cook, we can clean, we can birth some babies and get down on the dance floor, but we can do a lot more than that.