What does being Black mean to me?
By Kemi West
You asked, ‘What being black means to me?’
I respond, with a question, so you can understand me;
Do I have red BLOOD running through my veins?
Do I LIVE on this earth like every human being?
Do I ASPIRE to achieve the dreams I have within?
Do I CHALLENGE the status quo and stand up for what is right?
Do I retrain my mind to gain KNOWLEDGE so I can grow?
I know my truth and I know I do.
You ask what being black means to me?
But I ask why a label you created applies to me?
I am first and foremost a human being;
A valuable contributor to the human race;
My past, my present are my heritage and my teacher;
They enhance my humanity and give me vision without borders;
Being Human is to experience the good and ugly side of life;
Whatever our race, there’s a common thread running through our veins;
We breathe the same air;
We live and we die;
We can’t make a life neither can we prevent death;
When you ask the question,
What being black means to me?
I can honestly say, being black means you’re the same as me.
B.L.A.C.K is HuMANity
© 2019 by Kemi West
This beautiully written book by Austin Kleon is ideal for those times when you need inspiration to recharge your batteries be it creatively or in everyday life!
For those Londoners on a budget looking to make the best of the sizzlingly weather today, here’s a quick tip. Pack your own snacks and drinks as you go out and about to avoid spending needless cash. A good example are these oat cookies which can be a great family treat & could distract the kids from the sweet shops whilst you soak up your long awaited vitamin Ds from sun!
Functionality is key in whatever I do, especially in the craft that I make and in my everyday life. So, making this flip box was important to me because I made it for a loved one living with Glaucoma. It is a health condition that causes loss of sight. To find out more on the condition click the Glaucoma link above.
My aim was to make a treasure box for storing things within reach, so that it's easily accessible. I also wanted to inscribe an initial on the box, using a raised cut-out letter for it's owner to recognise it easily if it's misplaced.
Thankfully, the box was well received and has proved useful for it's owner. Which goes to show that art can be a really useful tool when made with a purpose.
Every city has it's charm and Lagos is one of those cities that's filled with beautiful imperfections and unique contradictions. Imagine being stuck in traffic and seeing these words inscribed in Yoruba, a dialect of Southern Nigerians, saying 'Afi Suru'. Which means to 'Exercise patience'. It's the classic Lagos experience!
This batik top was made using eco-friendly soy wax and eco-friendly dye. The finished piece was merrily sent to it's new owner whom I might add, wore it beautifully well.
The story is said of a young man, who’s sight is so bad he could barely see. He refuses to wear glasses so he could see and would rather squint to look at things. Just because he feared glasses would make him look strange. He would rather barely see than stand out from the crowd.
This story was inspired from a conversation I had with someone recently about wearing glasses. In an age where most people wear glasses, it appears everyone you see have glasses that suits them and they look chic so to speak. Yet take a deeper look and you would find the odd few that wear glasses, but feel uncomfortable, because they think glasses make them look different from everyone else.
As someone who wear glasses, I fall into this category and I wanted to know why something that makes life better could be seen in such a negative light. Should I not be grateful for being able to see clearly without straying my eyes? So why do I and some others, have such reservations about wearing glasses? Could this be because of how glass wearers were perceived in the past as isolated, introverted, book worms? Or could it just be an individual’s perception of themselves?
Whatever the case, it led me to question, if the choice is between seeing by wearing prescription glasses or not seeing for lack of prescription glasses, what would I do? When the facts are laid bare, it doesn’t take much to see things in perspective. Do I sometimes struggle with wearing my bug eye glasses as I call them? Yes. Why? Because I am of the school of thought, that think glasses does nothing for my facial frame. On the other hand, when I put them on and everything is as clear as day, I am forever grateful to the geniuses that dedicated their years to making glasses so people like me can see.
So, it appears that what needs changing isn’t my glasses but my perspective. If a pair of glasses don’t fit, no problem. It might just be that I need to find glasses that suit my face. And if for some unknown reason, I can't find glasses to suit my face, no problem. I simply go ahead by wearing what I have and celebrating the fact that I can see. For with clear vision, comes clear sight and with clear sight, comes clear goals. Clear goals to achieve future success. Get the pun!
I’ve taken the plunge and posted a picture of me in my new glasses and yes, this is my best effort! All being said & done, the important thing is perspective. That is, the decision to love my glass-wearing self no matter how it looks. And to remember, that whether my glasses are on-or-off, I’m still the same person behind it all.
Here’s hoping you throw caution to the wind and rock those glasses like it’s 2099!
Welcome to my blog, where I share things that inspire me. My faith, nature and the simple or imperfect things in life, are what brings me joy and inspire me to create. I look forward to sharing my inspirations with you. Thanks for stopping by!