Journal

Black Country

That day I told my mom, "I have to marry a cowboy because that's the life I want to live forever." Those many men on many horses and I said, "Mama, look at those prince charmings. A little farmhouse will be my castle."
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Black Country

As a black girl, I've always believed in magical things. With the rise of the appreciation of the stardust that we're made with, there is no better time than now to be a believer!

But little did I know that that magic hooves through the trails of Eastern North Carolina. It gallops at full strength. It slows to a trot when it's tired. At whatever pace it travels, it's there; in all of its earthy aura.

The first time seeing a black person on the back of a horse was on a trail in Tarboro. I was twenty years old at the time. Black cowboys and girls have always existed—but not in my reality. I had just recently picked up on the fascination of unicorns, and all of their pink and white glory. Their sharp, glittery horn and wings of vigor on their backs.

I filled every corner of my room with flowers, rainbows and various decorations from Hobby Lobby. My favorite sign said, "be a unicorn in a field of horses." Not that there's anything wrong with horses, but at this point, I hadn't discovered their presence in our community.

Ancients searched far and wide. Never mind if they found it or not. But who knew that black magic could be found on basic cable? Watching channel five, that day on June 19th, gave me the inspiration and hope that I never knew that I needed.

Their skin looked like mine. Their hair did too. Their mother's looked like mine, their father's looked like mine. They had the same interests like reading, writing, singing and listening to good music as I do.

I'd never heard of Wendell, but it's like I just uncovered a hidden civilization, when I watched their documentary on my 19-inch screen. I likened it to Atlantis—so close, but its treasures so far away. Somewhere between our cities, the Tar and Neuse rivers hold hands.

Anyone might find that insignificant and non breath-taking, but I'll ask again—when is the last time you've seen a black farmer with glistening skin from hard work? Considering our past, our people have long forgotten country living.

That day I told my mom, "I have to marry a cowboy because that's the life I want to live forever." Those many men on many horses and I said, "Mama, look at those prince charmings. A little farmhouse will be my castle."

If I'm in awe of this representation as a grown woman—I can only IMAGINE how the kids feel. We need more of this elation on TV and in person. Truly it matters! My heart was just happy to see these brown, mythical, strong and carefree beings, so close to me—both equine and mortal.

Now that they're in my presence, I'll trade my wings for a saddle and my horn for a kinky, detangled mane. The closest thing to magic that we will ever see, is black people with natural hair, tilling the earth like the good lord intended.

I can be me and I can frolic outside. My skin can blacken, ripen, and gleam. I can be a unicorn if I work like a mare. I can spritz myself in rustic, open air—my Chanel No. 9. I can be, as a matter of fact, I am Black Country.

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