Listening to you on your Verzuz live with Erykah Badu, the sealed cap on a can of worms I’ve been ‘nesting’ for 10 years popped off.
And whilst I may, I’d like to give you credit in this letter for the words you said when Erykah questioned you, as the push, kick and shove I never knew I needed. It was witnessing the emotions that your words had on you and the world that really made a difference.
Many of the issues I unpack are freshly scabbed or still open wounds. I often battle internally with finding the balance between – the fine line of doing what’s needed to let them heal versus revisiting them which can sometimes make the damage worse.
You told Erykah and the world that when God gives you a gift you should use it. I felt that. For much of my life I would wonder what my talent was. I took my ability to write and emote feelings for granted. I held no bravery or courage to pour out the words that would often sit too heavy on my heart. Instead I would twist what I felt and use it to write fiction. Your deeper explanation that once those thoughts and words leave you, gives you a greater responsibility to share with the world, runs deep.
I have been writing since I could hold a pen, composing my first story aged 5. Whenever anyone would ask me ‘Why do you write?’ I would always respond with “That’s like asking why do I breathe!’ Yet even with that knowledge I found that one day I held that breath, and didn’t let it go. That day then became a week, weeks became months, months became years and before I knew it I was looking at the other end of a decade that had passed me by. With the recent murder of George Floyd I am reminded that when you cant breathe, you die.
I always say everything in God’s time. I believe that his time is now. I am writing again and using the gift that he has given me to raise awareness to the racism and oppression that black people experience all around the world. You sparked a fire that I now proudly let burn.
So please feel my heartfelt gratitude, as I once again say thank you!