When I was little, probably eight, I had a beautiful black bunk bed with colorful butterfly sheets and a dazzling and glittery pink canopy that draped down around the top bunk like a waterfall. The bed made me like Rapunzel in my tall, safe, castle.
A month later, I despised that bed. It no longer made me feel like a princess. The bed became a prison, and I became its prisoner.
I was eight and was barely grasping the meaning of death, but I felt like I was going to die. The bed was slowly killing me.
I silently jerked my leg trying to get it out, but the bars of the bed just gripped onto my leg tighter with their long, black, fingernails making my leg throb in pain matching the rhythm of my rapid heartbeat.
I held onto the bars with my little damp palms and tried to push the metal monster off of me.
I could not get out, so a heave of cries and screams escaped my throat like vomit.
My parents ran to the rescue. They were able to get me out of the prison easily, but that didn’t negate the fact that I was imprisoned in the first place.
A black bruise was painted on my little black leg, and terror and paranoia was stamped into my developing mind.
Why did my castle betray me, but Rapunzel’s didn’t?
In 2015, Sandra Bland was imprisoned and killed. There’s been countless injustice and murder against black women through the years. Just like her, just like them, I am a walking prisoner.
The ominous, metal, shadowy figure that got me when I was eight was just one force in my world working against me.
I thought I only felt imprisoned because my leg got stuck between the rails of my bed, but now I know my blackness makes me a prisoner to the system and society.
It’s not just black men that are devoured by society and the system, us black women are too.