I am bitter.
It has taken me a lot to actually come to grips and be able to admit it, but I am. Not speaking of taste or smell but that I am angry, hurt and resentful.
I am bitter that I am the only black person in three out of four of my classes here at San Jose State.
I am bitter that when I walk around campus I am able to smile, recognize, and name just about every other Black student I see, simply because I don’t see many of us on this campus.
I am bitter that out of the fifteen college courses I have taken I’ve only had one African American professor which, might I add, was a part time Professor.
I am bitter that he and I were able to form the best bond I’ve ever had with a teacher, not because I was the best student in his class but because he recognized my struggle in himself when he was in school, the struggle of a young African American trying to better herselv when everything in this world is telling and tempting her not to.
I am bitter that I am even still going through this pain that he had to endure decades ago.
I am bitter that no matter how much I try, I can’t seem to fall out of love with the way I look when my hair is bone straight.
I am bitter that I am absolutely scared to the death as well as insecure to even try and give my natural hair a chance.
I am bitter that Madam CJ Walker ever invented a hot comb to begin with because that comb was able to take away a huge portion of who Black woman are.
I am bitter that I have to sit in classes and hear teachers talk about “BlackLivesMatter” while smiling or frowning—depending on which teacher—as if they should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for even taking time out of their busy syllabi to mention the topic.
I am bitter that when they do take the time to mention it they can’t stop their eyes from falling on me every few seconds just to see what my reaction is.
I am bitter that they look at me with pity in their eyes; I would rather a blank stare than pity.
I am bitter that after they speak on equality, justice for all, and change needed in the African American community, they are able to feel like they’ve done their good deed for the day, but yet still leave and go live their privileged white lives.
I am bitter that my life is able to be a lecture in classrooms.
I am bitter that when everyone else closes their notebooks and stops taking notes, this topic is over for them.
I am bitter that this topic is never over for me.
I am bitter that I do not need to take notes and listen whole heartedly to the lectures because how can a White woman learning all her facts on the news and Wikipedia tell me about the life I actually live every day.
I am bitter because in the midst of educating myself on my own race and my own culture I found that I now cannot even enjoy everyday life.
I am bitter that when I watch TV I don’t just see “funny” commercials of kids having conversations and being silly, I see the young black boy with the uncut hair and the ADHD behavior while the other white kids are looking at him as if he’s an experiment.
I am bitter when I watch shows like My Wife and Kids and I see the dark skin, medium length hair young actress replaced by a mixed, light skinned, curly haired girl, and even more bitter that the producers act as if the viewers aren’t going to notice.
I am bitter than now when I watch Scandal I no longer fully enjoy the story plot but find myself cringing when Olivia and Fitz’s lips attack each other’s’.
I am bitter that as I sat in the movie theatre watching Straight out of Compton I couldn’t help but think, “I wonder if one of the lead producers getting rich off of this are White”, then following it with “Of course they are DaMaya, white people market off of everything we do. Duh.”
I am bitter that though that movie was a success story, my black men are looked down upon for those same reasons.
I am bitter that most of my Black male peers here at San Jose State are literally praying and wishing ever night to get drafted into the NBA or NFL because other than that, they have no future or plan.
I am bitter that they couldn’t care less about a degree.
I am bitter that as I look around for a mate (if I actually want to date an African American man, which I do) my choices are getting slimmer and slimmer.
I am bitter that most of the men that actually make my heart flutter or cheeks hurt from smiling so much are the same men that I cannot take home to my parents and actually get approval.
I am bitter that they are the men that have records, tattoos, gang history and so much more.
I am bitter even more so that they were made into these ‘disapproving thugs’ by the society we live in.
I am bitter that my Black Kings are being taught to hate their own Black Queens and are too dumb to even notice it.
I am bitter that the thought and product of pure Blackness is no longer seen as beautiful in this society by both Whites and Blacks.
I am bitter that North West is seen as more beautiful than Blue Ivy simply because she has features of a mixed baby, and coarse hair as well as a wide nose that no longer fits the description of beauty.
I am bitter that as I look at the majority of successful black men in the industry, actors and athletes, their wives, girlfriends, and babymama’s are rarely black.
I am bitter that as a Black Queen I can proudly say “I love my Black Kings”, but Black Queens are not being loved or even wanted by our own “kings”.
I am bitter that I have no true culture: America and the White man decided to throw watermelon and fried chicken our way and act as if it’s ours.
I am bitter that when I do feel angry and feel as if I hate White people, immediately I start to feel bad and racist.
I am bitter that I have that innate respect in me for White people even when on the other hand it’s so easy for them to hate me.
I am bitter that we have women like Rachel Dolezal in this world.
I am bitter that she was able to take something that is so dehumanizing and such a hurdle in everyday life to manage for black people, and make it something that actually helped her progress further in life.
I am bitter that in her interviews when she speaks of her two black sons that she adopted, she speaks of them as if they are a keychain or a new Louis Vuitton purse added to her collection.
I am bitter that she’s tokenizing these black boys not even knowing all that they will undergo in this harsh world.
I am bitter that a white woman can go adopt black children and be seen as a hero when in reality she is crippling that child even more because she can’t even begin to fathom what that child will endure, let alone prepare them to face it.
I am bitter that I am a black woman and the thought of having a son petrifies me and yet white people have once again found a way to market off of our downfalls.
I am bitter that although I love the skin I’m in, if I could choose—if only I could truly choose—it would not be black.
I am bitter that I am forced to love this skin because no matter what I do I will always be black.
I am bitter that if it were life or death for Rachel, she would be able to save herself by simply wiping her blackness off.
I am bitter that it is a war for me every day and there is no wiping off my blackness.
I am bitter that everyone wants to be black but no one wants to live blackness.
I am bitter that woman all around the world pay to look like Black Queens; be it through lip enhancements, butt implants, hip implants, tanning salons, and so on.
I am bitter that Kylie Kardashian can wear cornrows and be praised as if she invented them, yet Zendaya gets bashed for reaching back into her history and wearing faux locks.
I am bitter that fashion icons like Marc Jacobs can take bantu knots, a hair style that Black woman have been wearing—and might I add have been scrutinized for wearing for centuries—and place it on the head of white woman and try to name it ‘Mini Buns’.
I am bitter that somehow the exact same hairstyle is seen as more beautiful on white woman than black.
I am bitter that, once again, everyone wants to be black but no one wants to be black.
I am bitter that writing this was literally the easiest thing I’ve ever written because these thoughts are in my head every day, all day.
I am bitter that I feel as if I have to dedicate my life to being everything the system has set out for me not to be.
I am bitter that I even began to educate myself on all of this because had I not, maybe I would have a chance at having one normal day without feeling like the world is sitting on my shoulders.
I am bitter that though I have reached page three there is still so much that I have failed to mention.
And I am tired of being bitter.
by DAMAYA WALLACE