Thursday, June 20, 2024

I Don’t Need White Spaces.

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( For me there is nothing more powerful than being a black woman. I should never have to apologize for feeling such, and I hope other women feel the same about themselves. far too often, we as black women seek the validation of white women. We care about their perspective on us whether it is sub-conscious or not. Far too often we put ourselves in positions that are not healthy for us because we feel a strong urge to prove we can exist in the same spaces as white women. This is not about employment and careers. Of course, you go in whatever space you must to secure the bag for you and you family. The issue is when we feel we must exist in white spaces that don’t pay our bills. It is unhealthy to try and exist in uncomfortable places that don’t pay us. I’ve simply decided for myself I don’t need white spaces. I will find what I need to nourish my soul amongst my people, or the space needs to be created.

In an effort to better align spiritual mediation, and my body I decided to try yoga. After doing some research I felt this would be a challenge, but well worth the work if I could just find a good studio and instructor. Because this was an attempt to align myself I knew the energy in said space needed to be right, and balanced, for me to achieve my goal on alignment. Of course, I asked for recommendations for because I didn’t know anyone in my area practicing yoga.

I tried three different studios whereby I walked in and say two black women at best. I sincerely tried to push past the obvious to focus on my goal, however the conversations were wrong. The energy was wrong. I was defensive in a space I should not have been, and clearly I was uncomfortable. I found myself pushing to fit into this space. The problem is I code switch enough on my job, so why do it here also. I could not be my authentic self comfortably because I knew that would be unacceptable. The fact that I tried was the problem.

The issue is not white woman in this situation because they are in a space that nurtures them…I was the one that didn’t fit, and I forced myself into that space. In the area of career and such it is understood that we must do the painful work of breaking down barriers. Maybe we should leave that at work. Validation can be such a burden; it will make you force on a show that clearly doesn’t fit. Being a black woman is something we must embrace and love. We must love self enough to love spaces that are for us. We don’t have to deal with the anguish of trying to meet white expectations. Far to often we are used and abused in these forced spaces. If you think that is reaching look at feminism. Black women have stood on the front lines of the fight while being misused by white women in a movement we thought was about womanhood period.

While it is still February decide to go into spaces that will uplift and celebrate you. Decide that you will not force yourself into white spaces that don’t allow you to be yourself. Leave the code switching to your job and bask in areas that affirm your “Black Girl Magic” in every other space. I decided I will still try yoga, but I will do it in a space that is for black women. I realize the energy I need to balance myself will come from the company of other black women as we uplift each other in said space.

Staff Writer; Adonicka Michele


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