That is not me telling you that vanilla Cupcakes don’t matter. Or that Caramel cupcakes don’t matter. What I am telling you is that chocolate cupcakes should matter too, but let’s be honest here. Unless you live yourself everyday being surrounded by chocolate cupcakes, they won’t matter to you.
Life is hard for chocolate cupcakes. How often do you see a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting? Most chocolate cupcake recipes have vanilla frosting because somehow being chocolate isn’t good enough unless its got a little vanilla with it. Think I’m wrong? How often do you hear, “Oh mixed babies are so beautiful” .. Now don’t get me wrong, I think ALL babies are pretty and cute and everything else that comes with a baby but I rarely (unless I’m saying it myself) hear that black babies are so beautiful. It’s as if according to “society” our chocolate babies cannot be cute unless they’ve got, you guessed it – some vanilla in the mix.
That is not my reality.
My reality is that being black in America is hard.
I love (emphasis on the LOVE) being an Afro-Caribbean American. I love my ancestry. I love the uniqueness of my name. The fullness of my lips. The curviness in my hips. The roundness of my behind. The curly & kinkiness of my hair. The chocolate glow of my skin. The pep in my step. I love everything about me that is chocolate. I hate being asked if I’m a certain type of african. I hate having my name mispronounced because “all of our names are hard”. I hate being asked if my hair is real. I hate being asked if someone can touch my hair. I hate being confused for another brown sister. I hate the idea that my assertive & directness is considered as an attitude. I hate that my self-worth for sanity is considered not being a part of the team. I hate that I’m continually demoted by assumption. I hate being the “token” black friend. I hate that I’m afraid to have a son in America that one day, my son won’t come home because he was black in the wrong place. I’m sure everyone can have this fear, but for me – from what I have witnessed in my life, this is reality.
Growing up, I was usually one of the only other black person in my class. It wasn’t something that I paid attention to, but it was something that I knew. I knew that all eyes would be on me during February. I grew up thinking that the only time I really mattered was during those 28 days when my teacher would talk about slavery, ‘the bad people’, Martin & Rosa. But as I got older, I began to learn that black history wasn’t confined to just 28 days, but the 10,400 days (and counting) of my life. Now as an adult, I face the same situation as I did when I was a child. Being one of the only chocolate cupcakes in the bunch but now in my role, I have the opportunity to be an support other students navigating this large bakery we call life. I enjoy being the one to support my students by reenforcing the idea that, they might not think they’re making a difference in the world but they’re making a difference in me, and I to them.
To me, there is no black history month – there is only black history life.
Chocolate cupcakes matter. They may not matter to you, but they matter the most to me. So next time you walk into a bakery and see a chocolate cupcake, I want you to think about me. Think about sharing that cupcake for me. Most importantly, think about all the chocolate cupcakes you might know – sitting along the shelves of all the other vanilla cupcakes, waiting for someone else to see their richness, admire the amount of cocoa in their batter without wanting to touch the beautifully shaped frosting on top.