The Identity Game
Bel esprit means beautiful spirit or clever person.
I looked for love in different places – my home was empty
With a Bible in hand I ventured out hoping the Devil wouldn’t tempt me
I thought love only belonged to white rich girls on tv
Or the girls on BET who my mom told me lacked bel esprit
They looked more like me so I guess I lacked it too
How was a girl like me supposed to make it through?
Being Black is a part of me I’ve become proud of
Being Black in this generation has taught me a lot about self-love.
Black love is radical for this nation’s generation
& Even for my kin, “my proud Black family of Haitians”
When I cut my permed hair off, it was a decision to love myself
My mom said I put my crown away & stowed my beauty away on a shelf.
It was so far out of reach that no man would ever love me
I didn’t care though - no man charged with this task ever took it very seriously
I realized I had to find the answers on my own
When I stumbled upon them, I was shaken to the bone
I fell for a girl and she unlocked my heart
I finally understood what it meant to be set apart
I was different and the world isn’t built for people who don’t fit the status quo
It’s a battle between which identity to put on or to forego
Written by Valencia Clement