Those who are weak will survive as a remnant; those who were exiles will become a strong nation. Then I, the LORD, will rule from Jerusalem as their king forever.” (Micah 4:7 NLT)
I was taught to hate the indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian in me. I was made to choose black or white and I would choose white. No in-between. When I lived in Western Massachusetts, I began to resent my white friends because they made me hate me. I never felt pretty around them because I was taught a twisted misconception of beauty. I was called Indian often, and automatically associated ‘Indian’ with poverty, savages…ugliness. It was when I discovered indigenous history in the Americas that I began to contextualize all my issues associated with self-love, and self-worth . It was when I learned I was made in God’s image that I realized my idea of beauty must be wrong. I began to understand where the resentment came from, and how colonialism is so much more than what happened hundreds of years ago. People of color in The Americas still battle with colonialism. We still have to fight against generational curses. We still need to unlearn the patterns and behaviors systematically imposed on us. We still need to learn to love ourselves. We may never know what tribe(s) our ancestors came from or learn the language they spoke, or live how they lived, and that’s ok. They left us rich history, rich complexions, and rich features to remind us to remember them. I am evidence of a forgotten community. My face will forever retell their story. I was called Pocahontas recently, and it made me feel pretty, finally.