Evelyn C. Fortson

African American Author of Women's Fiction


My son and I call each other the truth. We started calling ourselves the truth jokingly one day because of the texture of our hair.

My hair is unapologetically nappy, coiled so tight that it couldn’t be anything else but the truth. The truth of my hair is basically the truth of who I am.

My hair proclaims to the world that I am of African descent, I am strong, resilient, and soft. I grew up in a time when Black women were beginning to live in the truth that their hair testified of. Prior to the civil rights era Black women straighten their hair, worn wigs, and relaxed their hair in order to fit into a society that said our truth was ugly. As we evolved in the 1960s, and were told that Black is beautiful, we began to wear our hair in cornrows, afros, braids, and twists. Our hair through all the evolutions of ourselves always stood in its truth. If you straighten it within days, it began to curl back to its natural state. If you relaxed it the edges would not go alone with the lie and would roll back up to show the world who it was. Our hair has always been the truth and we can learn a lot from it by walking in the truth of who we are.

The truth is black hair is unique and it is beautiful. It can be worn in a myriad of styles. It evokes our strength as depicted in cornrows. It exudes femininity with wisp of baby hair surrounding the face. Our hair is loud and bold, but it can be subtle. Our hair shows us how we can be a mixture of strength and softness.

We Black women are delicately complex and no matter what obstacles we face, we must walk in our truth and celebrate the tight coils, black skin, thick lips, and the widest of our bodies. We are the truth, and the truth will set you free.

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Hope is an optimistic state of mind based on an expectation of a positive outcome.

In the last few months, the devastating news of friends or family members succumbing to cancer or covid has made it harder to be hopeful. These past months have been brutal, heartbreaking, and tedious, but I refuse to lose hope.

I have an expectation that we will come through this historic time on the other side stronger for having lived through it. I wake up every morning with the expectation that we are moving closer to the end of this pandemic. When we get back to normal (whatever that is), it is my hope that we do not forget how strong we are.

Life is a precious gift from God that we need to appreciate every day. Appreciate the small moments, not just the big ones. So, hang in there, try to get a little exercise every day, be creative, and stop feeling guilty about having a cocktail as needed 😊

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Black women are beautiful, our features are now desirous. Women are paying to have lips and derriere

pumped-up and out. No longer do we have to suck in our lips or try to hide our hips and back side. So, now we flaunt and shake what our Momma gave us, but have we gone too far? Do we have to be sexy at the supermarket, our kid’s school or at church? Yes, I said it, at church.

Let me stop right here. I am not being judgmental we can dress whatever way we want to. I am trying to point out a bigger picture. Most of our ancestor were brought to this country against their will. They were enslaved people that held on to their dignity even when they were treated like animals. On the auction block black women were stripped of their clothing and examined to see if they would be good workers and breeders. Any man at the auction could look at their nakedness. The auctioneer would describe them as good breeders, field hands or house n_______.

African Americans have not been slaves for over a hundred and fifty years, but some of us are still enslaved. We are buying what the dominant culture is selling. Social Media, Reality TV, Celebrity, Music Videos…depict black women as sexual objects. Female Artist although talented are placed on the auction block and stripped of their clothing in order to sell records, get a part in a movie, acquire followers, and become relevant. If you want to sell an image in order to make money that is your right, but do not forget that you are also contributing to the objectifying of black women and girls.

We say, “I am not who you say I am,” but we keeping dressing the part, playing the part, and living the part. If mothers and grandmothers are still walking around with their butt cheeks hanging out what are the children (both boys and girls) taking away from that example?

I know that we are more than what I see on TV or videos, but I am a 62-year-old woman who can process what I am seeing and either accept or reject it. Our young children are being raised on these over sexualized images. Their view of black women is skewed by the distorted images that they see. The distortion is further magnified if the black women in their lives looks like what they see on TV. We need to be mindful of how we show ourselves to our children and the world.

When the world sees us for who we really are they will see us as: strong, vulnerable, nurturing, loving, kind, generous etc. We are multifaceted strong, and beautiful like a diamond, and as soft as any other woman in the human race.

These are my abbreviated thoughts on the subject. I would love to hear yours!

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