I uncovered bell hooks from my library this week. As the author of our indivisible selves, we don’t need to go very far to find her books in our possession, do we.
As I pored over Bone Black, I found my own marginalia and underlined passages, left for me AGES ago, when I was a very different person. I am moved by my own highlights.
I don’t need to add to the appreciations of our most venerated Doctorate in the orphanage of feminism and the feminine, the colored of color. I will just note the thing that I saw as a child (yes, me in my 20s was a wild child), that I’d taken for granted until called upon today. bell hooks spoke in the first person plural.
We. Not I. We. Not you. We.
What an amazing word, we. Us. Ours.
My child self and I are a we. Thank you for talking to me over time and across contexts. All of you. All of us. We are love because we are an us.
We learn early that it is important for a woman to marry. We are always marrying our dolls to someone. He is of course always invisible, that is until they made the Ken doll to go with Barbie. One of us has been given a Barbie doll for Christmas. Her skin is not white white but almost brown from the tan they have painted on her. We know she is white because of her blond hair. The newest Barbie is bald, with many wigs of all different colors. We spend hours dressing and undressing her, pretending she is going somewhere important. We want to make new clothes for her. We want to buy the outfits made just for her that we see int he store but they are too expensive. Some of them cost as much as real clothes for real people. Barbie is anything but real, that is why we like her.
Thank you for letting us write ourselves into your work.