I was planning to write a whole blog lamenting on my place (or lack of place) in academia. How I refuse to compromise who I am to fit in with the white intellectual elites. How my life will actually affect change, rather than writing countless theoretical papers. How I plan to live (Because everybody dies but not everybody lives). How the power in me is greater than any external forces that seeks to challenge me. How do I answer the “what am I doing here” question- when because of my race, class, gender, age, etc. I am constantly reminded that I don’t belong in the places that I occupy? Today, after not having the best meeting with the chair of my department- the question “What did I come here for” resounded over and over in my head. My answer came from an unlikely source…Nicki Minaj. I have some strong feelings on Nicki, her image and persona. Let it be known I am not a Nicki fan…but I did find the lyrics to one of her songs incredibly inspiring- “Fly”.
Particularly the chorus…
“I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to thrive
I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise
and her last verse….
“Everybody wanna try to box me in
Suffocating everytime it locks me in
Paint they own pictures than they crop me in
But I will remain where the top begins
Cause I am not a word, I am not a line
I am not a girl that can every be defined
I am not fly, I am levitation
I represent an entire generation
I hear the criticism loud and clear
That is how I know that the time is near
So we become alive in a time of fear
And I aint got no muthaf-cking time to spare
Cry my eyes out for days upon days
Such a heavy burden placed upon me
But when you go hard your nay’s become yay’s
Yankee Stadium with Jay’s and Kanye’s”
I encourage you to listen to the song if you are in need of a bit of inspiration.
In everything I do, in all the spaces I occupy- I did not come to be anyone’s token or to fail. I came from one reason- I came to win. During this journey to winning- I will have to fight, in order to conquer, to thrive, to survive, to prosper and to rise but know this I will win. The number one reason I will win is because I refuse to let anyone define me or what success/happiness/whatever should look for me.
So my Tabians 🙂 what did you come here for?