Meditations on Black Love / by Edna Bonhomme

Being loved feels like such a radical act because it was never apparent that women who looked like me (short, dark skinned, & assertive) could be the object of sustained desire. Whilst growing up in Miami watching telenovelas or sit coms, darker skinned women like myself were rarely portrayed as romantic interests. If women with my complexion were present, they were side characters, “too aggressive,” or providing care work.

When I used to articulate the ways that society racialized love, I was often told to look inwards and just love myself—with the assumption that this had been provided elsewhere. What was implied was that I should not question or harp over the very system that sidelined me or others like me. It made me realize that rather listen or find offer empathy, my feelings and my experiences were being dismissed.

Although I cannot change all the minds and hearts of a racist world that we have inherited, I am working on building a layer of people who listen to me, who care for me, and who empower me. Perhaps, it is in this radical act of surrounding myself around people who trust me that I can finally begin the work of self preservation and healing. That is, living in a world that can begin to love Black womxn*.
*inclusive of transgender folks/gender non-binary, intersex