Photo Credit: Adventure Visionaries
Brown girls climb.
Yes, we do. We also do many other things! There’s a possibility that most of you know this and are confidently walking (or climbing) through life in the bounty of all your beauty. To you, I say thank you. You are an example of what a true woman is– wrapped in melanin with a soul housed in gold.
For the rest of us, we may still be learning to brush out the mothballs of our past. We clear out the daily encounters with friends and conversations with neighbors which seem to remind us how much some simple pigments can mean to people.
We take inventory of the people in our work space. We count, a lot. We go home and take stock of how out of place we can feel in a culture that wasn’t really designed for us or our families.
We go home exhausted and stay exhausted. We see reminders of our past on the faces of our brothers and sisters. Our fathers and mothers both remnants of the our history in all it’s joy and all it’s pain. There’s not enough years in my life to mourn that pain.
Maybe it’s ourselves. We look in the mirror and remember all of those words we’ve heard. Those words that now tint the lens through which we view ourselves. I am a beautiful creation but I am also a creation of my past.
Maybe it’s not any of these, maybe it’s those goal-crushing statistics. Those dang statistics. All I ever read about are percentages about how at risk we are to “fail”, to be abused, to have ‘name-your-mental-illness’, how likely we are to have diabetes , or to die of cardiovascular disease.
I’m tired of it. Numbers mean a lot. Beating those numbers means even more. Every time I climb I think about those statistics. I learned about skin color in kindergarten. I learned about the statistics associated with skin color in high school. When I applied for college, I had broken my first statistic. By the time I finished my undergraduate degree, I had crushed those statistics. I will not be another statistic. I find the extra load of statistics, against the odds of my achievements, to be the perfect training weight for success.
So brown girls do climb. We will continue to climb. We climb inside. We climb outside. We climb over mountains and boulders. We climb over years of insecurity. We climb over generations of oppression, injustice, abuse, rape, and self-deprecation. We climb over doubts, fears, struggles, and insults on a daily basis. We climb because we must. We have always climbed and we will continue to climb because the statistics are not in our favor but the weather is good and today is a great day to start the ascent.
So come climb with us! We currently meet up in the D.C. and Denver areas but are connecting online everyday. We are excited about building our community, advancing our skills and knowledge, and continuing the conversation about the importance of diversity, representation, and recognition in the outdoors!
God Bless & Happy Sending,
Brown Girls Climb crew at the first ever Color the Crag Climbing Festival. Photo credit by Adventure Visionaries