Domestic Violence Awareness month is ending and I’ve done nothing to advance the cause. No post about the masses of murdered Black women. No selfie posing in purple, and no #SurvivorSpeaks tweet chronicling my experience. Frankly, I’ve been struggling to understand how any of that helps survivors.
While I believe deeply in the power of storytelling amongst Black women, I never know which parts of mine need sharing. Sure there’s value in including the gory details, maybe they would validate a sister’s experience, but here’s the thing—and I’m switching perspectives now because I’m talking directly to you—you don’t need my validation. I already believe you. Like Tarana Burke, I’m ready for us to move past the trauma. So no, I won’t offer my pain on a platter.
My story starts after survival. At rebirth.
I baptized myself with books. Let the words of Hurston, Morrison, and Walker wash me anew. For DVAM I’m inviting you to follow me into the river. Wade in with The Color Purple. Immerse yourself in Celie’s self-awakening. When you see her see Purple for what it truly is—divinity exemplified—follow her lead, go outside, then go inside, and see it for yourself.
Ashley Danielle is a Teacher and Writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. She pens essays about Black womanhood, and is the founder of Sistories.org, a personal blog and story sharing platform that aims to continue in the tradition which has led Black women and their foremothers to self-awareness, power, and freedom.