A Body made home
EXCERPT FROM A BODY MADE HOME
There was once a little Black girl who liked digging holes in the mud ...
She liked to feel the slime of worms. She reveled in the feel of the damp grit beneath her fingertips. Dirt did not bother her. It was only that she knew if she got too dirty she’d probably get in trouble for messing up her school clothes. This little Black girl liked play with the boys. She liked to take off her shirt and run around the yard like the boys. She did not think that she was a boy, but she had never been told that there were certain things that she would eventually have to become. Black girl. The becoming was a lesson. The becoming required a disciplining of the body. The becoming required a naming of the body, a naming that made what was hers both sacred and a burden, a naming that made what was hers not hers at all. The becoming made her mother afraid. Black mother wanted baby to play, but Black girls play is often interrupted by other things. Black mother never wanted those other things for her little girl, so she tried her best to protect her baby’s body.