Desiree Peterkin Bell
Desiree realized that education was the only way she could gain control over her life and experiences. She devoted all of her energy and focus to school from then on. By the eighth grade, a school counselor had informed her that she could take the SATs and be offered a place at a boarding school.
Desiree Peterkin Bell aced the exam and was accepted into two prestigious boarding schools. Regardless of how easy she found the test, her experience at school was difficult. When she awoke one night to find another young woman standing over her and rubbing her hand, she wondered if "the black came off." Desiree pushed the girl away, defending herself.
On this final day of #BlackHistoryMonth and as we approach #WomensHistoryMonth, I would like to pay tribute to #BlackWomen - those who surround me and those who have come before me.
I recently underwent a complicated and necessary hysterectomy, and I had no choice. I had been living in pain for years and finally received an unfavorable diagnosis. My world changed quickly, and I had to reset and prepare for the worst.
Fortunately, my medical team and oncologist were excellent and successfully completed the surgery. When I regained consciousness, they came to me and said, "This was complicated. You deserve to live without pain. You deserve ease."
This experience taught me a valuable lesson once again - vulnerability is powerful. As Black women, we often feel compelled to bear the burden of pain, hardship, and tribulation, but we do not have to. We often believe that we must always be strong, endure, and fix everything, which is dangerous.
We can be intense. We can be vulnerable and soft. We deserve ease as much as anyone else. We are worthy of comfort, and we have earned it.