On birthdays, being black, and brothers

Every sister wants a book to be published nationally by her brother the day before her birthday with her year of birth in it, right? Yes, Baratunde outed my age in his book, “How to Be Black.” Nice. I’ll remember that. Payback’s a …

Yep, I’m 44 years old today. The number really doesn’t fase me. I’m not concerned with the perception of over-the-hillness and mid-life crises (which should be more traumatic than my early-life, young-life crises?). I still get annoyed sometimes at being carded. And I like to stand on my hands as much as possible.

I am 44 and finally living and being. I’m not spending a lot of time regretting the 43 that came before now. That’s wasteful, disrespectful and ungrateful. I needed to go through doing things because it was the expectation, and doing things because it was society’s definition of success. I also needed to go through the times in my life where I denied myself my truest being in order for my truest self to scream loud enough for me to hear her.

I stand today imperfect and OK with it. I no longer want to be skinny or have straight hair (yes, I’ve been there). I don’t pine to be filthy rich. I don’t care that folks see I can be messy (OK, I still twitch at that one)

I work incessantly and I’ve come to peace with it, aware of the whys and wherefors of my efforts. I’m not blindly doing anything even if I’m doing things I might not want to at the moment. (I honestly pull strength from remembering my great grandmother cleaned white people’s homes all her life and socked away enough to buy five properties; that my great grandfather was born a slave; and my mother pushed through an insufferable job for her children. They had purpose. I was that purpose)

I hit the wall now and again. But I’ve got all of you guys there to help me clean up the splat.

I can honestly say I live. I live this moment, this day. I try to be present with each and every person I’m engaged with. I sit inside of myself and abide in that space OK with it as it is …and it’s good. It’s impermanent and constantly changing….and it’s good.

I got an amazing gift in the form of my brother’s book being published Jan. 31 to usher in Black History Month (which I own, check the copyright and trademark on that. Belinda Thurston, born Feb. 1, 1968 is the self-proclaimed sole owner and proprietor of Black History Month.)

“How to Be Black” is an amazingly funny and witty book that sheds light in a fun and unintimidating way on the issue of blackness in the U.S. But it’s also a sweet and profound testament to my brother, my mother, my family. It’s a reminder of where we came from, what we came through and who our ancestors wanted us to be. To see my young brother come into his being and do it honoring the path we’ve come from? Damn, that’s crazy mad strong, son.

So buy his book. Learn about being black, but mostly about being.


Luv and Hugz, B


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