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The Followlalala

Christmas was hard this year. It is the first year since...ever, that I wasn't able to call my daddy to tell him Merry Christmas and hear him say "hey, girl!" Nobody can say that like him. It could have so many flavors and so many colors depending on how he said it. If he knew what was going on with you it could mean how are you holding up? If he hadn't heard from you in a while it could mean it's about time you called. If you had repeatedly ignored what he told you you ought to do, and now what he warned you about had just happened, it could mean you played Toyota that time didn't you? In our family that means "I told you so". See back in the 70's there was this commercial with the slogan, "You asked for it; you got it, Toyota." I'm sure if you asked one of my sisters or nieces or daughters, they would tell you what "Hey, girl" meant to them when he said it. Those words will never sound the same to me again. I did the best I could to hold it together. The truth is we all knew this day would come, but that didn't make it any easier. I struggled to embrace the "falala". That's what I call it.

There was one thing that helped me embrace the falala and the future with more hope than I've had in a good little minute. The Black Girl Follow Train on TikTok. I don't know the content creator's name, I will come back and add it when I find out. It is simply black women following each other on this controversial social media app. I hopped on the follow train at 441 followers. It only took a few days before I found myself with over 1000 followers. As I write this I am at 2083. Now let me tell you why this is significant to me. As black a woman it can be absolutely draining to see and hear and read negativity in all things concerning who you are. It seems all and sundry are profiting from making fun of us and belittling us and legislating us and even trafficking us. To be able to go to my FYP and see sisters proving in living color, that everything they say about us is a lie, has made me feel seen and heard in a way that I find hard to articulate. The honesty, the support, the humor, the love. The absolute acceptance that I have felt since I hopped on this black girl follow train has enveloped me in a bold confidence that I have been afraid to feel for so long. Oh people won't let you be bold and confident. Not when you're a black girl. But in this space I don't stand out, I am just one of many beautiful, intelligent, talented, educated, ratchet, holy, sexy, wise wonderful, amazing, sisters, sharing what I have with those who need it and getting what I need for myself along the way. It has lifted me in a way that nothing else could. I am standing in awe and gratitude. Who would've thought that a social media trend could become such a movement?

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