Google defines unapologetic as not acknowledging or expressing regret. The Merriam-Webster definition is “not apologetic” (duh): “offered, put forward, or being such without apology or qualification.”
Black /blak/ of the very darkest color owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white. I’m going to go with this definition for now.
I wanted to take some time to lend my own definitions which may expound on those above in some ways and contradict in others. There’s a reason that I chose the designs that I did as part of our inaugural launch. I’ve heard the saying “unapologetically black” before and I feel like I live it. I also feel that you’re here because you do too. We’re being challenged regularly to be apologetic; to relent to the pressure of a society that doesn’t embrace us; to be quiet and distant even when present. Blackness isn’t easy, nor is it something that any of us asked for, but it’s definitely something that we embrace! Its who we are. Blackness by my definition is providence, magic, inclusivity and ubiquity to name a few. We can be dark like midnight, yet shine like the sun; our complexions are a proverbial rainbow. Our hair has been described as defying gravity itself; different coils, different kinks, as unique as our very diaspora, growing up and out, yet it seems we need legal permission to wear it naturally. The opposite of white.
We shouldn’t apologize for who we are. I can’t say that I disagree with the definition of Black as much as I want to point out that this particular definition is incomplete. Let’s forget that the origin of mankind happened in Africa for a nano second. Let’s disregard for a minute every single hue and creed was derived from blackness. Don’t forget too long, we’ll get back to that. Black is inclusive yet for what we absorb, we amplify and emanate it. We can’t list here the number of inventions of advancement that we have contributed to society, that is utilized daily for the betterment of life as a whole. We usually default to our cultural, artistic and athletic contributions when we think about blackness but we’ve done so much more. We continue to redefine greatness. Our very DNA has been exploited for the betterment of global society at large. Our scientific and mathematical contributions are infinite. You can’t walk a step in any direction in a developed country and not encounter the result of blackness. We can’t forget our origin, nor our purposed place.
The microaggressions that we face on a regular basis is a display of societal insecurities; their effort to diminish the sovereignty of “black;” the opposite of white. Let’s look at the other definitions, synonyms, or descriptions of “black;” characterized by tragic or disastrous events; causing despair or pessimism; full of gloom or misery; very depressed. Micro-aggressions, micro-invalidation and micro-dismissiveness are even baked into the very definitions of black. We need to assert ourselves. We will continue to use all avenues to demonstrate what we know to be the true definition of black unashamedly, we can be humble and bold, strong and vulnerable, compassionate and resolute. I won’t lie, its an uphill battle. We’ve lost some footing due to colonization. Restoration is possible. Your presence means that you have been chosen to perpetuate the brilliance of God via contributions. You are here for a reason so be who you are.
Be Unapologetic in your BLACKNESS. Show up in those “opposite of black” spaces that expect silence, complacency and distance, and be your brilliant selves; be UNAPOLOGETICALLY BLACK. ọṣọ aṣa.