My entire life has been a Black Lives Matter Poster. I’ve had to defend my blackness and worthiness since I set foot in school, the first setting where I didn’t have my parent’s protection.
In first grade one of my classmates, a lighter tone Dominican claimed I was ugly because I was black, and she was beautiful because she was white. My mother had a few words for her the next day, of course she denied it, but my mother continued to inform her that beauty comes in all shades. That same girl later became my biggest nemesis everything I did she ATTEMPTED (emphasizes on attempt) to do better. I still remember her face when she realized I learned how to write script, so shocking and bothersome to her she went as far as asking the teacher if she had written those words on my notebook, to her misery the teacher confirmed I indeed learned how to write script on my own (learned from my mother not school).
That was only the beginning, as I got older the disapproval of my blackness as a Latina from the “Latinos Approval Association” only intensified. I heard things like; How are you Dominican but your last name is Wells, then the ones who felt they were saving me somehow by separating my color from my culture claiming I was “morenita” but not actually black. It was a shocking to them that I took offense to black jokes when to their standard I was really not black just dark skin, so why would I stick up for “them” as if them didn’t include me.
Then my Black classmates who saw my blackness but still I was “other” to them; my accent, my hair, my music choice, my culture was too different to grant me full inclusion.
I have been having this conversation since very young many haven’t cared to listen or understand. I’m tired of explaining and repeating what the Black experience is like or even deeper the Black Latina experience were you are part of two minority groups and discriminated in both. It is one thing to be discriminated by the oppressor all minorities share but to be discriminated by your own kind that cuts much deeper.
These past few weeks I haven’t been able to put any post or words together seeing all the pure acts of evil, discrimination, abuse, senseless murders and lynching of black people. I have felt all the emotions; anger, sadness, indignation but then it all went mute.
I am exhausted, tired of having to defend BLACKNESS, having to explain the beauty of it. Seeing people, my people suffer and abused time after time with little to no consequences. I am tired of the stupid little jokes Latinos make about blackness which they believe to be “innocent,” I am tired of the ignorance.
Scrolling through my timeline I saw a very ignorant “jokey joke” made by a Latina who has been “advocating” for the black lives matter movement and the words just came flowing back. Being silent is just not an option.
My experiences have caused me to build such a thick barrier between me and the world I barely let people in. I’ve realized though the more you push people away the more intriguing you become to them.
You want to know who I am?
I am Emily Wells, a proud Black-Latina. Conceived from two beautiful individuals born and raised in the paradise island of the Dominican Republic who later migrated to the US where my sister and I were born. But take it back rewind it back for a second.
Let me break it down both of my parents are what Dominican refer to as Cocolos or Ingleses. My father’s father (my grandfather) was born in an Island called Anegada (Island in the British Virgin Islands). On my maternal side my mother’s grandfather was born in St. Maarten and her grandmother in Anegada.
Now let me tell you who I am as an individual.
Writing has been my passion and best form of communication since very young, I have a bachelors in English literature (minor in journalism). Fashion has been my thing since I could speak, I love making and creating which lead me to the beautiful world of sewing I a seamstress. My sister and I have an event planning business, we also sell handmade goods. I am a lover of natural medicine and nature, I am a YouTuber, a blogger, I am a visionary, love natural beauty and can do hair well. I guess you can sum it all up by saying I am an artist. Maybe by nature maybe by force, it is no secret that a black person has to be multi-talented and work twice as hard to make it.
Chris Rock explained this perfectly in his stand up. He said, “The black man has to fly to get something that the white man can walk to,” and now top that off with being a woman.
By force or not, creativity runs in every fiber in my body and it’s made me the amazing creator I am today. No one can dull the shine that come from within this black girl. That same confidence I will pass down to my niece, future kids and all the youth around me that I can inspire.
I pray and hope that for once justice is served for all the black lives that have been unjustly taken.
Justice for AHMAUD ARBERY
Justice for BREONNA TAYLOR
Justice for FLOYD GEORGE
Justice for SEAN REED
Justice for SEAN MONTERROSA
Justice for DAVID MCATEE
Justice for RAYSHARD BROOKS
Justice for OLUWATOYIN SALAU
Justice for DOMINIQUE “REM’MIE” FELLS
Justice for MICHAEL ROBBINS
JUSTICE FOR ALL THE BLACK LIVES THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN UNJUSTLY AT THE HANDS OF HATE, RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION.