Black Girl: As Is

Writer. Creator. Shapeshifter.


The limits of my language means the limits of my world.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein

I've always been fascinated by language.  When I was a little one, I used to tell everyone I was going to be a linguist when I grew up.  I wanted to work for the FBI.  Chile.  I don't know what I was going through. It might have been watching Feds.  But I was smitten, punch drunk with etymology and aphorisms.  With all the think pieces and general fuckery on display this week, my old interest is piqued.  We're told communication is the cornerstone of all relationships. But what happens when that bus breaks down?  You may be thinking of love languages and reasoning strategies.  Uh Uh.  I'm talking about actual words.  What are we really saying?



Words Mean Things - Mama Edition

Scene One:

The Lady:  They really don't talk about Luby's that much.

The Tramp: *singing along to Lady Gaga* They shole don't. I mean there are so many people being affected disproportionately.  Specifically Black Women.  I mean they have the Lupus Walk and the Lupus Foundation but it's just NOT ENOUGH!!

The Lady:.................. Bitch, I said Luby's not Lupus.

Scene Two:

The Lady:  It's a bolt under this bed. Where you think it goes?

The Tramp: *focused on blog* I don't know! Is it a child's boat?  Why would there be a boat under there in the first place?

The Lady: Bolt! Bolt!  and here's the washer.

The Tramp: ............................................ Oh.

Scene Three:

The Tramp:  Ma, you like Dwele?

The Lady:  Who?  Dweeb?

The Tramp:  Who? Dweeb, like the nerd?

The Lady:  That's Dweev.

The Tramp: ..........................................

The Lady:  The nerd is Dweev.

The Tramp:  Ma, the man's name is Dwele.  The nerd is Dweeb.  I don't know who the hell Dweev is?

The Lady:  Imma call him Dweeb.

Don't feel bad Dwele.  You're in good company.  You share a table with  Amy Winehouser, Vivlica Fox, Janice Jackson, Scissas, Carly B. & Edrens Ebba. You're royalty.

I know all those words, but that sentence makes no sense to me.
— Matt Groening



Sometimes the disconnect isn't with words, so much as, fundamental difference.

You too deep - Mama Edition

Scene One:

The Lady:  Who is this?

The Tramp:  Florence and the Machine.

The Lady: What she do?

The Tramp: She's amazing. She's this powerful redhead with a tremendous voice.  When she sings it's almost like a storm.  She can stand still and her voice and the heavens will break wide open.

The Lady: .......................................  You done gone too far.

The Tramp:  You're totally right. I heard it as it was coming out.  She's good though.


Scene Two:

The Lady:  *watching some Tyler Perry madness* See?  He married to that other lady. But her ass is crazy.  But that's his son and he gay and his mama sent him to jail.

The Tramp:  Ma, I don't care about this.  You don't have to catch me up, just enjoy your show.

The Lady:  You need to!  This is your culture.

The Tramp:  This is not my culture.  This is an Acting 1 exercise.

The Lady:  *mumbles under her breath*


Scene Three:

The Tramp:  I am just so over this shit.  How do we just continue to exist on this bed of lies.  Everybody claims to be woke, but I swear people will believe anything a n*gga with a deep voice says.

The Lady:  Who? Snoop?

The Tramp:  What?  No!  Anyone!

The Lady:  I think it's Snoop.

The Tramp:  ............................................


Sometimes, when she's not picking my scabs,  I just stare at her and giggle.  She tickles me.  I marvel at her language, our language, and how we're comprised of many parts.   We must slow down and take our time with each other.  We must examine subtext and context.  We must resist the urge to slam shut. We must push through our discomfort.  We must say what we mean and mean what we say.  We must use our words.  

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.
— Dumbledore

We must create magic.