Rachel Dolezal wants your ‘Black girl juice’: An open letter to my sisters

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Rachel Dolezal wants your Black girl juice: An open letter to my sisters

Dear Sisters:

Rachel Dolezal has you tripping … like really, really, really tripping. You can’t seem to comprehend, understand, believe, wrap your head around why any blond-haired, blue-eyed, pale-skinned White girl, who thus has the golden key to the glorious White kingdom, would want to be Black. In the days since Dolezal’s Black-passing scandal came to light, I’ve been watching you carrying on about how “interesting” and “odd” and “weird” it is that Dolezal would want, of all things, to be a Black woman in America.

I’ve watched you, and honestly, I’ve been disgusted that you would question Dolezal’s decision to widen her eyes with thick black eyeliner, visit the Korean man’s wig shop and purchase an Afro puff 1B braid (you know the kind), and plump her lips with that peach Posner’s greasy lipstick you left behind in 10th grade. I’m disgusted because you, my sister, in your interest, and in your surprise, and in your awe, are forgetting one thing: we got the juice, baby. We got that “Black girl juice.” We got that thing that everyone wants and watches and gazes at and lingers on and tries to be, but can never, ever duplicate.

Come on! I know you know. I know you remember, sister, how beautiful and spectacular and downright enigmatically unique you are. How you stride flawlessly into a room. How you talk that talk at the kitchen table. How you sit with one hip poked out. How your body is shaped like a throne just waiting to be worshiped. Your attitude is like gum popping. They call you a b—- for that. But that’s just because you don’t let anybody f— with you. You don’t let anybody f— with your people. You’re funny with your girls. You’re creative in your home. You’re your man’s truest ally. You’d do anything for your babies. Your beauty is the only thing that makes the ‘hood survivable. Your cooking got us through slavery. Your gun got us out of slavery.

You remember now? I hope you do. I hope you never ever question why anyone would want to be exactly what you got all for free, all from the creator, who created you, the Black woman, first. Oh, you never looked up Mitochondrial Eve, sister? Well, it’s true. Every single human being on earth has the DNA of the first person in the world, a Black woman (go ahead and look it up—science, baby). So, your mama, and my mama, and somewhere down the line, yes, Dolezal’s mama, is Black — African, to be exact. Maybe Dolezal is just coming on home and having her Sankofa experience (go ahead, sister, and watch that movie, too). Maybe she’s trying to tap into her Black girl juice. Maybe she’s admitting what everyone knows and what everyone seems to want you to forget — that there’s a power to this thing of being a Black woman. That there’s some wizardry, some cosmic brilliance to this skin you’re in. There really is Black girl juice. It’s what poet Jessica Care Moore describes as, “Maple syrup in the morning,/Brown sugar that sweetens./Cinnamon twist in apple cider,/Magic black dust inside her./Wheat bread with homemade spread/This juice goes straight to your head./Coffee without dairy cream,/Any man`s dream” in her poem of the same name.

So, here it is, sister: stop disgusting me with your curiosity in Dolezal’s decision. From now on, I want you to say, “Shole is,” whenever more news about Dolezal’s passing comes to light. She’s only doing what everyone else wants to do. Kylie Jenner and her plumped lips. Kim Kardashian and her fake butt. Bo Derek and her braids. All their tanning. All their calling, “gurlfriends.” Dolezal isn’t new. Dolezal isn’t original. Dolezal isn’t crazy for wanting to be a Black woman. Shole isn’t.

Yours in sisterhood,

Calaya Reid

Rachel Dolezal thumb LinkedIn
Rachel Dolezal thumb LinkedIn
Calaya Michelle Stallworth
Calaya Michelle Stallworth

A novelist and essayist, Calaya Michelle Stallworth is a creative writing professor in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned a doctorate in English at Georgia State University. She has published ten novels under the pen name Grace Octavia with Kensington and Harlequin. Instagram: @blackwritergonerogue

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