My Beautiful Slave Feet

Awesome Fact: According to my DNA results I’m 90% African, which is ironically the only exam results I have received that my mum has ever fully approved of …lol!

When I was little, my dad would lovingly point at my toes and say “my little girl has slave feet!”. This was one of my favorite “dad-isms”because I have always been an unapologetically proud descendant of enslaved Africans!For as long as I can remember, I have had feet that looked like they belonged to an adult who spent a lifetime in hard labor, which is quite the opposite of the reality of my very sheltered and comfortable upbringing. No matter how many pedicures I got, my feet never stopped looking like they belonged to someone else who lived a much harder life. I used to be very self conscious about them. “Why are you embarrassed?” my dad would ask, “there is nothing more beautiful than those slave feet! They sacrificed everything for us. you are walking upon a gift!”

When I found out that one of the my ancestor’s kingdoms was Benin, I looked down at my once hated feet and began to weep. I wept because I suddenly remembered hearing the story of how women who lived in the port towns of Benin would throw flowers upon the streets to cool the cracked, bleeding, and split feet of their enslaved kin being marched before their eyes to meet their cruel fate across the ocean. It was an act of love that would span across time.

As the veil between the worlds above and below the water gets thinner, I find myself proudly looking down upon my gifted slave feet and remembering how much I have always loved the cool caress of healing flowers beneath my toes. Wishing you a beautiful day where you see the beauty of your ancestors love in every step you take

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