Black is the color of dirty clothes;
The color of grimy hands and feet.
Black is the color of darkness;
The color of tire-beaten streets.
-RuNett Nia Ebo
Europeans, Asians, Puerto Ricans, and etc are named from where they come. So, at times, I feel the confusion in the name African American. I can remember it being taboo growing up to be considered African. Every day, I thought of my thick hair as African hair. The thought never stood in a positive light. African hair to me meant too thick, too tangled, and unmanageable.
Looking back, I see stages of finding myself add up to many. At first, I could recall wanting to check the “American” box and not live under the name African American, because my ancestors build this nation for free. Then, choosing to go by black because I didn’t feel our people would ever see ourselves treated as Americans. Finally, I did not want anyone to call me black. Black described only a color.
The African Woman
I remember the process of getting my logo made. I sent several descriptive words to the artist so he could get a feel of what needed bringing out in the artwork. After sending him the details only once, the artist sent me a rough draft. He named the rough draft The African woman.
For a moment, I just stared at it. I never described the woman I wanted as an African. Yet, by my surprise, he described it this way on his own.
Growing up I hated history until I understood why. The hatred built up inside because I always read my history from the writings of another set of people. Later, I began to love history when I decided to study from those who shared the same background. It’s hard to find pride in reading your history written by the other side. Now, my love for history and desire for truth healed most of my confusion. Though I may not know the tribe, undoubtfully my ancestors belonged to a different land. Deriving from a place of beauty, a place once called home. Africa.
I now feel Pride. I sent the artist words like Bold, Strong, Proud, and Black. Again that same pride began to build up in me as I read the name of the rough draft of my logo the African Woman.
Black is the color of a bruised eye
When somebody gets hurt.
Black is the color of darkness.
Black is the color of dirt.
-RuNett Nia Ebo
I chose this face because though bruised and beaten we still overcome. Trials and tribulations cannot keep us down. Even when, brought to our lowest state we remember how to keep our heads raised high.
I am proud of our strength and the boldness we hold. We adapt and we continue to move forward. Life’s weight feels heavy when people keep trying to figure out where they are going. Yet, can’t remember where they come from. This face calls back to remembrance. A call back to knowledge, understanding, and truth. The face of the motherland. With it, I hope to continue to birth a visual of our richness, our beauty, and our color. I gift this to all my sisters, my logo, the African Woman
I made you the color of coal
From which beautiful diamonds are formed.
I made you the color of oil,
The black-gold that keeps people warm.
I made you from the rich, dark earth
That can grow the food you need.
Your color’s the same as the panther’s
Known for (HER) beauty and speed.
RuNett Nia Ebo
Black: My Logo
Why did I choose black? The first reason being coal, the beginning of a diamond we discover deep underground. The place where the burying of seed means the beginning of life. Coal undoubtfully equals power. Generating electricity and providing an efficient way of life. Many lost lives while mining these coals and in great effort helped many as well.
Then comes oil. A naturally occurring organic compound also finds itself under the earth. Many throughout the world war for it. Now we should take the same mindset and war for ourselves, our beliefs, and our lives. Black is powerful, black is life, and black is needed. In the dark, there lives a sense of mystery and the color black houses all colors. I chose black because no one else chooses us. I chose black because no other color compared.