Let me be great…

I am no longer flattered when people ask me to do things because I am “so good at it…” I will not be punished for a job well done. I will not be overworked and underpaid. I will not do free labor (there must be some kind of reciprocal exchange, which does not necessarily mean money but means I don’t prostitute my gifts). rboylorn

I read this Crunk Feminist article How to Not Die: Some Survival Tips for Black Women Who Are Asked to Do Too Much and thought this . . .

(Unedited) Close to the end of last year I sent an email stating, “I am not a robot. I am not a workhorse. I am asking for consideration…” There was an attempt to reprimand me for advocating for myself. I did not and would not accept or internalize this attempted reprimand.

I share this not as a bad ass, I share this because so many sistas I know (and don’t know) suffer in silence. We need to make ends meet, I get it, but we are shitted on and it is a very GENDERED THING.

In acknowledging gender I also realize something. Brothas just gotta stay alive. I do not say this lightly, nor is it meant to reduce anyone’s mattering. But real talk, the expectations on Black men are far fewer than on us, Black womyn.

We are expected to be all things to all people, and get no cookie, reward or shit else. Brothas get worshiped for the shit we, as sistas, are expected to do. For example, a Black man being in their child’s life. Duh, that should be an expectation, not a shock or a parade to be had when it happens. I digress. I do gendered work. I have a front seat to gendered programming. We are expected to nurture and fix ish. And it’s considered noble and cute if brothas nurture and/or fix ish.

I am a mental health counselor. A therapist. A(n) art therapist. A youth worker. A womon. A Black womon. A wellness ambassador. A thought leader. A creative. A healer. A space holder. A witness bearer. A(n) innovator. A humon.

Talking to a sista-friend the other day about “being mammyfied.” Womon of color in helping/caring professions are often mammyfied. Womon of color who exist in the nonprofit industrial complex are often mammyfied. This article hits home in so many ways. It makes me want to weep.

I will not let people use me. I will not feel guilty for saying no. I will ask for what I need. I will walk away if I don’t get what I need. I will fight against injustice in the world, starting in my own life! rboylorn

As a therapist/counselor and as an artist, people are always asking me to do something for free. It’s unnerving. Do you know how much MONEY & TIME I have put into cultivating my craft!?!?!?!? Do you know how much I’ve done to be all this “black girl magic”!?!?!?!? I am worth it ALL. I deserve it ALL. I will not be penalized for my greatness.

I say this all with sooooooo much humility and grace. I say this in accordance with knowing and being a reflection of God.