I Have To Tell The Truth

I am a black woman. 

In case you forget, I AM a black woman.

You may be thinking, “Why does this matter? Why is Marva telling me this?”

For 45+ years, I have spent most of my days navigating majority white spaces, and in order to do that, I’ve suppressed my voice, my thoughts, my presence, my knowing, my brilliance, and my power. 

I learned early on, and it was probably passed down through generations in my DNA, how I needed to operate to survive – and dare I say it, even succeed – in a white-dominated world. 

Well, it’s time for me to live unchained (thank you Erika); to liberate myself from the lie of white superiority and black inferiority (thank you Community Healing Network [CHN]).  I am no longer willing to carry this burden.

4 1/2 years ago when Donald Trump’s campaign began and the ongoing violence against black people by police was getting much needed news attention, I could no longer navigate the majority white spaces I had walked so many times before – Corporate America, my neighborhood, the gym, a restaurant, dinner parties…  Trying to stomach the false civility and pretense of so many complicit racist spaces brought on a deluge of feelings.

Feelings I hadn’t even known existed: grief, hurt, despair, and lots of rage.  Feelings of deep exhaustion – that “I Can. Not. Do. This. ANYMORE!”

I vividly remember after Trump’s swearing in when the Obama’s walked onto that plane for the last time – she walked up those stairs and never turned back, he paused to wave goodbye.  Holy shit.  Just recalling that moment is bringing me to tears, lots of them!  I was shocked at my reaction but didn’t quite know what was at its root.

Now don’t get me wrong, as a black person, I knew that the backlash (aka whitelash) would come.  No doubt.  But this time, it felt different and I was different.  I was no longer willing to accept it as a truth.

Over the last few years, as I unraveled layers upon layers of loss, grief, trauma, rage – feelings I had not been able to experience or acknowledge.  When you’re in survival mode, you can’t explore the depths of your feelings.  Something was revealed to me and I didn’t like it.

Here it is…I was unwittingly loyal to a lie that presumes that my life, as a black woman, is less valuable, less worthy, and less meaningful than a white person’s.  I ran myself into the ground mentally, physically, and emotionally swallowing the racism that was pervasive in the majority white spaces I traversed; pretending it wasn’t happening nor that it mattered.

I am unwilling to swallow that toxicity anymore, to go along to get along, to not speak the Truth.

This is the Truth:

  • I am a beautiful black woman. 
  • I am a strong, powerful, brilliant human being.
  • I have the right to live and flourish in a world free of anti-black racism.

And I am here to help other black women awaken to this Truth. 

In service of this Truth and in service of my power and my purpose, you’ll be seeing changes in this blog and my health coaching practice.  I understand this may not be something of interest to some of you, and I’m good with that.  You are free to stay or go. 

Here’s what I will be focused on – bringing the Truth to light.  I deeply value CHN’s work to create a world “…in which all black people are free of the lie of White superiority and Black inferiority – and able to flourish—to enjoy life in all its fullness.”

To make this world a reality, I will:

  • First and foremost, be unapologetically me regardless of how uncomfortable it makes white people
  • Provide a healing retreat center for black people to liberate themselves from the lie of white superiority – black inferiority; to heal from the traumas of anti-black racism
  • Focus my health coaching on the mind, body, and soul of professional black women who are/have navigated majority white spaces for most of their lives

And what I’m most excited about is my first EVER healing retreat for professional black women in late Spring of 2020.  I am still ironing out the details, but if you’re interested in hearing more, shoot me an email (marva@marvamakle.com) and I’ll add you to the “first to know” list.

Thank you so much for being part of this community.  I look forward to growing, healing, and owning the truth together.

    *

  1. Tonja Pena

    Yes! This is beautiful and unapologetic. Bravo, Marva! I wanna come!!

  2. pearl brown

    Ashe and Amen!!
    Powerful recognition of your truth.

  3. Natalie

    Marva- you are an incredible amazing woman. I’ve learned so much from you and my heart is full as you claim this journey. Much love to you.

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