This is the portrait. This gray, muted, un-vibrant, unbothered, unseen face is the only way to be Black and woman in this White House. It is survival mechanism. Your brightest colors dare not shine through. Your sweetest flowers dare not sprout here. This is not a space for your growing. And still with quilt-like patterns strewn across your dress, you carry ancestral secrets. You plant anyway, arms covered or hidden, joy known but forbidden – how dare three happy Black women live in this White House (oh wait, it was 4, right?).
I too am seeing what I want to see. And what I want to see is the truth of America. Look into those grey eyes, they are telling you that this image is not quite what it seems. They are telling you that grace does not disappear while in sunken places.