For years I carried so much on my shoulders. I carried my skin as burden instead of a God given honorable shield. I carried societies standard of masculinity instead of defining manhood for myself. Eventually I grew tired. I grew tired of constantly fighting myself from myself. I was covering up who I truly was because I was scared of what other people would think or the fear of making someone else uncomfortable. As a nonconforming black male, you never know how people will accept you. After some time I stopped caring. I had to realize that I was the only thing that really mattered. It was my peace and happiness that was truly at risk.
We hide behind so many veils in order to conform to society and not to step on any toes. Under these veils we lose ourselves and we miss out on our potential. I had to accept all of my good and accept all of my bad in order for me to move forward in life. I stopped acknowledging what people told me was “bad” and turned the “bad” into moments of self observation. How is being myself bad? What makes these things bad? Who deemed it bad? And who the fuck are you to tell me, a grown ass man, that something about me is bad? Just because my life doesn’t necessarily align with your belief system and how you feel doesn’t make it bad.
Unfortunately we live in a white patriarchal, hyper-masculine society where young black boys and girls are told their skin color makes them less than and that their hair isn’t straight enough or long enough. Basically that we will never be enough. This was my reality. For years I hated my skin color, I wanted to be lighter. Lighter would equal more people liking me. Lighter would equal more opportunities. Lighter was better in my eyes. When I first started to accept my skin color, it wasn’t because I genuinely loved my complexion. It was because people liked my skin color. So in my head I’m like “Yes I’m accepted”. It wasn’t until college honestly that I truly loved my skin color. I realized it was mine. MY SKIN COLOR. No one else in this universe has MY SKIN COLOR. I realized that it holds magic and that I would do whatever the fuck I wanted because the DNA that ran through me came from people who looked just liked me who made shit shake. Once I accepted the love of me and my skin thats when I started to love everything else. My hair. For years I would spend half of my weekends in the barber shop in order to keep up the clean black boy look. Waves on swim, hairline so sharp I could slice you open with it with one strike. I even grew out my beard because someone else told me it was the thing to do, made me more attractive in a sense. Its been a year now with no haircut and I now have locs and I’m beardless. These were my decisions to love every strand of hair that grew from my head in its natural state. My beard did not define me. I now make decisions based on whats right for me and the spirit within helps me and guides me to making these decisions. I made the choice to not conform to what people and society claimed as acceptable. I choose what is acceptable for me everyday in that moment.
Once I accepted me for all the magic that I am, I gained my happiness back. The years I spent trying to please others is gone, I can’t get those back. The years under white rule are gone, I can’t get those back. But today I am striving to be the best version of Darrius Newton I can be. God has given me the tools to succeed its up to me to use them. My nappy glory, golden skin that turns blue under the moon’s light and my abundance of love that exudes through my pours will always be me. And I love every moment of it. I define who I am as a man and theres nothing anyone could say or do to change that. Love yourself , love others, spread happiness.