Grace Bryant is a store manager for J.Crew. In her undergrad she focused her studies in Psychology, Communication and Art. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and currently resides in Indiana. Grace desires to share her life as a black woman and the struggles that come with it but also seeks to inspire those who are marginalized to overcome.
There are no two words on this earth more powerful than “I am.” For it is in knowing who you are that false identities inflicted upon you become impossible to adhere and untruthful doctrines/principles constructed for you become unbearable to bow to. I am the righteousness of Christ.
I am that one friend. That one friend that every white woman uses as a safeguard to filter through their highly offensive beliefs and concepts to see if it’s deemed racist, because to them it’s far worse to be labeled racist as opposed to actually doing/saying racist things. I am that one non-threatening co-worker. That one non-threatening co-worker that is considered admissible to bring to predominantly white functions, to share Facebook memes with, to meet your parents in a group diluted with your real core white friends.
I am that one classmate. That one classmate that was told all through her adolescent life that she spoke white, but took no offense to it because she knew a person who is being discriminated against doesn’t have a responsibility to educate or inform their discriminator, for it is never the job of the oppressed to stop their own oppression, besides, I fully understood that what they were actually saying was “Your enunciation of every syllable is not something that is often exposed in perceived impoverished communities. Your level of articulation is only seen and expected from someone of European decent.”
I am a person with a hard role. Hard because I am tainted with the belief that I will always be viewed as ‘other’ as long as “white” is viewed as the default race.
I often find myself having to fight. I fight for freedom of thought, freedom of opinion, freedom of emotion without stereotype threat, without worrying that I might become what society has told me I already am. It is exhausting, having to fight.
However, as I journey through life, I still am discovering my authentic self.
There is a distinct task I was created to do on this earth; an assignment no one else can fulfill but me. Even in knowing that, however, there is still a stronghold interfering with my progression to purpose, and the first step to breaking it starts with me. The immense pressure in knowing that I hold the keys to my breakthrough is severe. The fear which follows said understanding that greatness was planted inside of me, yet I determine whether it grows is paralyzing.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that there is no such thing as disadvantage. However, I create a mythical series of disadvantages in my mind every time I see my reflection, review my current state of being, envision my future. Why? Simply, because it is easier.
It is true that a minority must work twice as hard to prove he/ she is better than one who has privilege. Regardless, that is a choice. We, as humans work for no man, and if man has no ability to tell you yes then they have no ability to tell you no. Humans were given all dominion and authority over this earth, not skin color. What saddens me the most is when people choose to live in a state of mental bondage instead of using their rightfully owned weapons to break spiritual chains; strongholds. Whatever makes you angry and remains unshakable in your heart means you were born to solve it, and I will seek to solve the way the I’ve learned to view my skin on this earth. My body; gender, race, age, height, shade, do not give me power; He who dwells in my spirit does. So, the stronghold does not exist in the natural.
The moment you become fully aware of who you are, you will be like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in all that you do, it prospers, and nothing will be impossible for you.
My name is Grace Bryant. I was born March 1st, 1996 in Brooklyn, New York to Maizey Michelle Bryant, Charleston Bryant and sister Faith Bryant. There are no two words on this earth more powerful than I am; and I am a Black Woman.