Sunday, 18 August 2013

Climbing Out of That Quagmire

As I continue to focus on shining in this my blog's anniversary month, here's another side to shining. Or, to put it more aptly, a possible reaction to being in the presence of another's light. By now, you may have heard about Gabrielle Union's speech at Essence's 6th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon - in February this year - where she received the “Fierce and Fearless” Award. I was watching a program, in about June-ish, I think, and learned about the Luncheon - and the speech. The former is of little interest; the latter is of much. The bit that got me, was: "I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt whose shine diminished my own [sic]." I'll simply say, yes, that does exist. Know what else exists? The triumphant climb out of that quagmire. It is doable. More power to those (men and women) who overcome that monster; face it head on; strangle it with their bare hands and beat the living daylight out of it!

Ahem. Umm, the speech, in its entirety, (from the Get Elevated Women's Conference site) is below:

We live in a town that rewards pretending. I had been pretending to be fierce and fearless for a very long time. I was a victim masquerading as a survivor. I stayed when I should have run. I was quiet when I should have spoken up. I turned a blind eye to injustice instead of having the courage to stand up for what’s right. I used to shrink in the presence of other dope beautiful women. I used to revel in gossip and rumors, and I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt whose shine diminished my own [sic].

It’s easy to pretend ‘to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them. We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self promotion. We don’t stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rapid on our watch. Real fearless and fierce women complement other women and we recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light and that it actually makes our light shine brighter.

So many of us in this room are sisters. We don’t always get to see each other and its good to see you here today. Women who we’ve laughed with, cried with, and struggled with, thank you for not turning your back on me, thank you for not tap dancing on my misery, even when I wasn’t always returning the favor.


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