Black women joy is an act of resistance,
Black women joy is being your most authentic self,
Black women joy is Black celebration.
Black joy is fighting to be seen and heard in a world that is anti-black, a world that is anti-black women, a world that is anti dark skin Black women. With the BLM movement happening, the increased outcry, the lack of action and support for Black women in the sporting world is clear to see.
Black joy was created and promoted due to Black women and girls wanting to thrive in a world that has been created to break them down. A simple pastime, football, has given us that space and opportunity to define cultural norms and expectations from family, friends and society.
“The dream is to be able to work and belong in a team environment that sees you as a Black woman without it being important and where being on the field, playing 70, 80, 90 minutes is.”
Where a win is a confidence booster and a loss is a team loss. That’s what makes it extra special. The fact we are allowed to experience and feel emotions that the outside world prevents us from doing.
Football. A place that allows women to be themselves; an individual, not a sister, wife and/or mother.
Now, while this is just an idealistic view, for some it may be true. I wonder if this is something that could really truly be achieved.
The creation of Black women and girls only football clubs could potentially make this a reality, but only to a point. Playing against other teams would still expose us to micro aggressions, racial bias and sometimes slurs.
But it’s something to work towards. Diversity and inclusions are just buzzwords, a damper to Black joy but a pat on the back to others. So questions need to be asked.
Why do we still try and fight to fit ourselves into those buzzwords? When it’s clear that it’s not the way to create Black joy?
How do we achieve Black joy? Are we even allowed to create Black joy on the football field? Is Black joy a luxury in the women’s football environment?
To many people it’s not a luxury, but a deserved right. All you need is enough people to either do 5, 6, 7 et cetera a side, a pitch of some sort and something to use as goal posts and you’ve got a football game; you’ve got 90 minutes of emotions and you are playing with people who look like you.
So as a Black woman, I am going to keep working on bringing small glimpses of Black joy into everyday life because we deserve it and fight everyday to protect and nurture it. What would I love to see? To be able to make Black joy an everyday thing in the game.
For more Black women and girls to continue to create joy, to continue to carve out a piece of it in a game that had made it clear this isn’t the environment for it.
To allow Black joy to inspire and uplift a new generation of Black women and girls to pick up the ball and give the game a chance. To continue to celebrate and rejoice in it for 90 minutes.
That’s how I would love Black joy to continue in the game.
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