This mama brings me so much joy and even though I run into Cardi haters all over IG and Snap, I go mad hard for her.
I am sharing the following quotes because her words not only impart wisdom on me, but they really bring me pure happiness and light.
Cardi B’s words of wisdom #1:
“I just want people to understand that the color that I have and the features that I have didn’t come from two white people f**king!”
Damn momma, how do you bring this almost forty year old pedagogue so much joy and wisdom? My whole life opened up with that quote. On the real, my people, even young ones, love to act like they aren’t Black and I have never been able to come back at them with something that didn’t make their eyes glaze over. So next time someone my age makes a dumbass remark about not being Black, I’m dropping the “are your parents white” bomb.
Back to Cardi.
There is an elegance to being able to capture such complex issues like Afro-Latino identities. This issue is really as simple as a question on the Living Environment Regents. I mean, imagine if science teachers taught the unit on genes and punnett squares through the lens of the diaspora; everyone in the room would not only be engaged, but they would know where the hell they came from…like genetically and geographically. Hell, this quote makes me want to get a science certification just so I can ask the question: “How do Afro-Latino features manifest?” or “Can two white people create a person with African features?”
Before I go and write up that unit plan, let me tell you what happened when I asked some of my students to comment on the quotes starting with that one right up there.
Cue the Funk Flex explosion sound effects. I know, I’m old.
“OMG now I can go explain to my mother why I tell her that she’s buggin’ when she says we aren’t Black.”
“My mind is blowing up right now.”
“I can’t wait to go press my mom.”
One student – who wants to make and sell hair and nail products for “us”- asked me if I think she would be successful because she is a light skinned Afro Latina. Of course I told her “hell to the yeah, I need you to get in that kitchen right now”. She then started sharing the common narrative of the older generation’s fight to be white. But this student is loud and proud and full of joy as she picks out her dark tightly coiled hair, and embraces her tiny waist, thick bottom, and magic when she spits that ffiiyyaahhhhh in class discussions. Pure joy!
Cardi B’s words of wisdom #2: “Let me fat in peace.”
Cardi really knows how to clap back and shut down. When a troller told her she looks pregnant, she just dropped that line and walked away. She knows that in the end, no one cares about a back roll, and it is the magic of who you are that counts. We should be feeling ourselves 24/7 and living in all of the feminine divine that we embody.
I talked about this with my students and it got loud.
Young Queen #1: For real Miss, who cares if I gain a few pounds. If I’m healthy and living life, who cares. Damn people need to chill.
Young (misguided) King #1: I care. Don’t nobody want a chubby, cheetoh eating ho.
Young Queen #2: Sit down boy, no one is trying to impress ya’ll stank boys anyway. That’s why you are all so mad now because you can’t get play from none of us. Go read a book.
Young King #2: Chill son, they all going to college. I’m not trying to give them away to Tommy.
In my mind that last boy read somewhere that Black women are dominating the college graduation statistics and he wants to be down with that.
Cardi B’s words of wisdom #3:
“I’m being nice to you. Have I stabbed you? No.”
I used to think that my whole heart and soul lived in Empress Riri, but when Cardi B said this, I had to admit that she’s inside me too.
What this means to me is that people really need to learn how to evaluate life and circumstances. My sister wanted to know if she hurt my feelings and I had to let my inner Cardi B fly. I said, “You didn’t sleep with my man, right?” And I had to explain to her that even if she tried, she couldn’t hurt my feelings. Not because I don’t value her opinions, but because I know she loves me and if I know she loves me, I have to believe that she would never intentionally hurt my feelings.
That’s that sister, soul-sister love right there. It’s the same love I have for Cardi and the slick way she slides wisdom into my life. Got nuthin but love for you Cardi, thanks for bringing me happiness by keeping it 100, 100 percent of the time.
In honor of celebrating a tiny part of what brings me joy this #BlackHistoryMonth let’s remember that we are all just regular, shmegular, degular people who need love, light, and a place to talk about what is good in this dope-ass Black and Brown life.
Happy Black History Month.