The Apology to the Black Queen
To My Black Woman,
I owe you an apology. The other day I heard you say that you don't need a man and it broke my heart. I guess I let you down too many times. You depended on me to protect you, to provide for you, to keep you safe and lead you, and I failed you. When you needed me the most I wasn't there for you. And when I was there I didn't appreciate you like I should've. I took advantage of your heart and corrupted your innocence. Since I couldn't see God in myself I couldn't see Goddess in you...I couldn't see my help-mate and co-creator; the Earth to my Sun.
To be honest I'm ashamed of myself. I see your strength and it makes me question my own. Somehow you can make a way when I can only seem to make excuses. I look out at our people and hear a voice say, "What kind of man lets this happen to his family? What type of man allows his community to be destroyed? What type of man doesn't die for his freedom?" I've allowed this world to make me into something less than myself and even though you're too compassionate to say it out loud I know you feel it; shit, I feel it.
You've been raped, beaten, molested, disrespected, bought and sold....I should be dead by now. I should have died defending your honor. But rather than fight for you, I joined with your attackers. I took the white man's culture as my own and imitated his hatred for women, especially black women. I made the white woman and "foreign" woman my prize, as if the beauty of my mothers and sisters wasn't enough to be celebrated; as if my chocolate-skinned daughter isn't just as sweet as her caramel sister. I owe you an apology.
I apologize for the way I've handled my insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. For the drugs and women and liquor I used to cope and for what it did to us. Too many times when this world has stripped me and beaten me down, I took it out on you. I hate that you had to nurse my wounds and see my weakness. I wanted to be perfect for you and my impotence ate me alive. All you wanted to do was love me and I taught you hate. I've made you into everything I say I don't like in women and then blamed you for it.
I know I've hurt you. I've been deceitful and manipulative, I've played with your heart, mentally and physically abused you, tore you down when I was supposed to build you up. When you were honest, I lied. When you were faithful, I was disloyal. When you needed me the most, I abandoned you.
I've neglected you for years. How many times did I tell you I loved you but gave all of my time, devotion and loyalty to my boys and the streets? And then, when I got locked up and they all left me, who did I turn to? I expected you to hold me down and give me the patience and understanding I never gave you. AND YOU DID. You've been more than I deserve. Your name should be "grace" or some better and more powerful word from the Motherland that means "undeserved gift." You've been a blessing and I've been a hypocrite. I've been a child and a fool. I haven't been worthy of being followed because I didn't know how to lead. I'm sorry.
They say you're angry, Black woman. They say you're loud and mean and hard. If you are it's only because you've had to be to survive. I understand and I apologize. I know your truth. I know your anger is really frustratation and disappointment. I know it hurts to hold back your tears; that sometimes you shout to stop from crying. And shit, I know sometimes you are angry and you have a right to be mad. You deserve more.
They call you mean and angry but I've seen your kindness and the beauty of your smile. They say you're loud but I've been witness to your quiet resolve. They think you're hard but I've been with you in your softest moments. You demand more because you're worth more. Heaven lies at your feet, Queen. Know your worth and continue to remind me when I forget.
This isn't how its supposed to be. This isn't the way we're supposed to be living. We're supposed to be together, beside each other, standing strong. We're supposed to be united. That's the only way that we're going to build this nation.
Forgive me, Queen. Continue to stand beside me and when I push you away, come back to me again. Your love is all I've ever had. I remember when we were on those ships, chained and shackled, covered in feces and filth and those men let you topside. I remember how you watched and plotted and schemed until you let us know the right time to attack. I remember when you were in the field beside me and picked extra so you could fill my bag with some of your yield and I could avoid the whip. I remember when you snuck me food from the Big House and stole books that we struggled to read together. I remember when you would work all day cleaning other people's homes only to come home and still cook for and clean your own. I remember when you marched and fought beside me. I remember when you were bit by the dog I thought was going for me and sprayed with hoses while you tried to help me up. I still have the letters you wrote me when I was in jail.
I wish I never failed you and I didn't have to write you this apology. But I did and I do. I'm sorry Black Woman. You deserve more. But don't give up on me. Black Love Matters.
Your Black Man.