Extraordinary #WOMANHOOD: Cocoa Butter

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Who am I to think that I am magic?
I am the under-appreciated of everything majestic and tragic.  

I write like Maya
and engage like Oprah, 
More meaning in my thumbs than Deepak Chopra. 

I sing through heartbreak while the world watches, 
Give birth to three and shield them from flashes, 
Sell out arenas with or without my husband.
I am lightning in a coke-shaped bottle. 

Package me all you want so that I am palatable to you
But my 4C follicles do not grow out of my scalp for you. 
I can wear my crown straight, curly, dreaded, and locked. 
India Arie to the bull, my hair I am not. 

But back to my talents and contributions, 
I am the beginning and end of every evolution.
You made fun of my lips and hips when I was a child, 
Now I have to switch off my notifications to avoid seeing other women packaging themselves
as me. But mild. Hella mild. 

Mildly is how they want me to represent myself and my tribe. 
Mild does not fight for my rights or help me survive. 
My continent was robbed of riches but never its pride. 
The truth is I’ve been living like a Wakandan all my life. 

Some say we’re magical and rejoice when they see us in groups. 
Our tongues ready to ululate for our ancestors, our hips at the ready for a twist, bend and shoki.
All for the Bantu troops. 
We laugh and dance our sorrows away. 
Our daughters will be even mightier than us in every way. 

As I close my eyes, I dream of a world where I am celebrated. 
As I open them, I realize I have been God all along. 

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Angela Ruhinda is a writer and film maker from Tanzania. She's worked with ABC Networks and Hallmark in the U.S and plans to launch her own production company in Tanzania. She recently premiered her first short film 'Midnight', as well as, a millennial talk show called 'Sikiliza'.

Angela enjoys storytelling and rooting for everybody black. 

April is Stress Awareness Month and we want to hear your best ways of dealing with stressors, any precautionary tales of how they can affect the body, what your self-care looks like, and/or anything else related to acknowledging that stress is real and necessary to manage.

April is ALSO Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In light of recent events with sexual assault in the entertainment workplace being brought to the forefront and fully addressed, we want to address this issue taking place everywhere. We're accepting personal narratives, essays, poetry, prose, and any other type of writing that gets your point across about sexual assault. Because of the nature of the topic, we are willing to publish Anonymous pieces. We are accepting submissions & pitches from EVERYONE. We mention this because men and non-binary people have just as poignant voices and stories to tell about their own experiences but sometimes shy away from sharing due to toxic perceptions that hand out shame versus compassion. Our platform is a safe space for everyone so feel free to submit/pitch.

Please send all pitches/submissions to submissions@theextraordinarynegroes.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!