Hello, my name is Antonia Kelsey and this is my story.
I was four years old when I first heard the word nigger. I wanted to play with some of my neighborhood friends and to my surprise they held me down and stepped on my face and called me nigger. I didn't understand what that word meant until I got older.
Then in school I got called many things like nigger, blackie, poop, dirty, and monkey. Having statements and questions like: “You're pretty for a black girl.” “What are you?” “Why is your nose so wide?”
I had people who wouldn't answer me when I spoke to them. They'd plainly turn around and walk away and ignore me. In high school I was raped because some guy wanted to know what it felt like to be with a black girl. I was so humiliated and violated.
I was done! I didn't want to be black anymore. I want my hair to be straightened and my skin to be lighter. Most people don’t know this, but I am bald today because I processed my hair so much to be like my white peers, that I caused my alopecia. I hated being black.
It wasn't until God got a hold of my life and put a mirror in front of me and asked me, "What do you want to change?" So I listed all the things that were told to me that others didn't like about me: I wanted lighter skin, a smaller nose, straight hair….etc.
Little did I know He was going to change the way I think about myself.
There was a silent pause as I was looking in the mirror and God whispered in my ear, "So what you're saying is what I made is ugly?" Oh my goodness….Did I just say that to God!? God gave me revelation in that moment that nothing He makes is ugly. That I am made in His image.
From that moment on I have learned to love myself just the way I am. To embrace, my broad nose and the color of my skin and my bald head. I am a beautiful black woman!
I know some people have a hard time accepting the Black Lives Matter movement. I get it. They think we are saying ONLY black lives matter, but we are not. We are saying black lives matter because there are people who think otherwise to the point of killing us. Will you be our ally and let them know that our lives matter too?
Thanks for listening.
If you would like to send Antonia a message, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put her name in the subject line.