The Dance and the Roar on the Day that Kamala Won

Feb/02/2021 / by Meera Simhan

On that day that Kamala became Vice President, the text came from her cousin in Austin, Texas.

 

“CNN calls Biden President elect! Wins PA.”

 

She sat on the sofa in her living room. The morning was a comfortable cool. She watched the video of Kamala talking to Joe.

 

“We did it. We did it, Joe. You’re going to be the next President of the United States.” And the tears rolled as the chills moved through her whole body. That day that Kamala became Vice President. Joe said, “We will heal this nation.” The thickness in the air lifted. She knew this country would be taken care of. When there is sickness you need that care.

 

The day that Kamala became Vice President she roared in the shower. A deep, long, layered roar. She hadn’t planned on the roar. It just happened as she was naked in the shower. She felt it deep in her belly. It was primal. A wail. A cry. Like when she came out of the womb. I am here. This grown woman let the young girl inside her roar. And then she heard the words of the young girl inside her. “I belong, I belong now. She looks like me.” The release of years of feeling and hearing,

“Just not you.”

“I don’t get you.”

“Dot or feather?”

“Injun?”

“Don’t speak perfect English like that. Chop it up a bit. Yeah like that. Bigger, Bigger. Thicker accent. Thicker. Thicker. Paki, Wog, Raghead.”

“Do you eat curry every day?”

The day that Kamala became Vice President. She let all of that out. And she thought, okay, I will let the day happen and wait for the speeches.

She listened to the speeches and Joe said, “This is the time to heal in America.” And she thought she was done for the day on the day that Kamala became Vice President.

And she went to her room to sleep. But then she saw herself in the mirror. And she started to dance. She had not planned on dancing. She put on Beyoncé’s Brown Skin Girls because Beyoncé sang things like, “Your skin is not only dark, it shines and it tells your story.” She had not heard those words growing up so she kept dancing and her sisters flashed before her. Her sisters who she grew up with and heard with her,

“Why does your Mom dress like that?”

“Why does your father speak perfect English?”

“Exotic.”

“Ethnic.”

“Kama Sutra Baby.”

Her sisters who became writers, lawyers, teachers, mothers, actors, directors, nurses, engineers, entrepreneurs, doctors and more. So much more. Her sisters who are now dancing.

Her sisters who had so few who looked like them when they were growing up so they were the “other.” And they were told, “I don’t get you. Let me tell you who I want you to be.” And at times she thought, “Yeah. Maybe that’s all I can be.”

But not now, not ever, on the day that Kamala became Vice President. This grown woman let out that young girl and told her it’s time. It always has been. It’s okay that you know now. Your sisters know it. Your daughter knows it. Your daughter can feel it in her bones. Deep inside her belly your daughter’s roar will be the one of possibility and reality. The roar of I am, I will, I can because she did. On the day that Kamala became Vice President.

Seema

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