Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. It somehow didn’t feel right to post about whatever plant-based treats hubby and I are eating here in Carlsbad, CA on vacation. I am going to keep this brief but something occurred to me repeatedly while we were walking the streets in Carlsbad and Encinitas. There was a time we couldn’t have walked into any of the restaurants we’ve eaten at and be served or maybe seated in a “Coloreds Only” section in the back. For the most part, we are the only African-Americans anywhere we’ve been these last couple of days and the realization of how unsafe we would have been brought me some discomfort.
However, the gratitude never fails.
I am grateful for men and women of the Civil Rights Movement.
I am grateful for those still fighting for a seat at the table today.
What does it mean? Tribe? Have I found mine? Have I found several? Have I always belonged? One told me my skin, along a continuum of brown was beautiful. My Black is Beautiful.
Another tells me that lakay means home and Aux Cayes bears almost forgotten, almost sanded off imprints of my DNA.
Attached myself to a tribe of people who call themselves Greats and to another who picked up the Pen and put the Fears down.
So many names I have gone by:
Great, Black, Brown-Skinned, Haitian, American, Haitian-American, Writer, African-American, Christian, Woman, Wife, Sister, Natural.
I am a member. I fell in. I joined. I paid. I listened. I spoke up. I have shouted. I have risen. I have sat down. I have dreamed. I have cowered. I have fallen down. I have kneeled with purpose. I have prayed. I have cursed. I have written.
I was born.
Within this tribe, these tribes, I am human. I have found my humanity and I find myself extending my hand to touch yours.