I never do the 10-year challenge because I don’t have pictures of me in my 20’s. And I don’t regret it because there’s no need for visual reminders of my growing pains. Memories are enough.
Ten years ago, I was getting my Bachelor’s degree in Korean. I didn’t have a job and no idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I was struggling to embrace who I was as a French Afrocaribbean woman. I didn’t know how to define my Blackness anymore now that I was living away from Guadeloupe. I had let go of everything I was passionate about: dancing and creating stories… In one word, I was lost.
Watching US Black webseries helped me to visualize a Blackness that resonated with me.
Growth. Community. Inspiration.
These are the three words coming to mind when I think about the Black creators from YouTube I’ve been following for about 10 years. Issa Rae… Well, do I even need to remind you how she basically turned our daily lives as Awkward Black girls into a contemporary life exploration of American Black womanhood? From YouTube to HBO, she did that.
Then there are Roni and Caleb Davis, the creators of the “Tough Love” series. This power couple gave us characters and storylines centered around Black Millenials fighting to love, to be loved and… to just live as ordinary human beings. This is priceless to me. And by the way, I’ll be shipping Keith and Jordan until the end of time. Yeah, I said it.
And last but not least, “First”. You guys, I still get goosebumps when I think about the feels that it made me feel. “First” showed me how Black men could be vulnerable and how it was okay for them to let this vulnerability take over. “First” showed me how Black women had their moments of happiness and how it was okay for them to be their own priority. “First” showed me how a Black couple could build their intimacy in a respectful and caring way. “First” reminded me of how much I wanted to feel all these beautiful emotions. You know, this excitement of feeling a connection with someone who gives back the same energy. Back then, I was too deep in my growing pains to admit to myself that I also wanted to create stories that would make people feel happy and fuzzy inside. I didn’t think I was even able to do it.
When “First” Season 2 ended, I didn’t know it yet, but I was about to get on my Karukerament journey. In the past 6 years, I explored my Caribbean culture. I redefined my identity as a French Afrocaribbean woman… And I finally tried to share my stories and make people feel THE feels… Watching these creators through their journey, each one of them unique in their own way, each one of them believing in their dream and hustling to make it come true made me accept the fact that I wanted to do the same. I love writing love stories and I shouldn’t let fear of failure or other people’s opinions take that away from me.
And here we are today. The “First” trailer dropped on Valentine’s Day for the film that shall bring a conclusion to this beautiful story. I joined the crowdfunding campaign because I didn’t see any other way to thank Jahmela and her crew for this beautiful gift of Black Love representation. Regardless if Robin and Charles end up together, their relationship will keep inspiring me for the rest of my life. So, yes, I’m ready to “fall in love again for the FIRST time”.
PS: y’all know I’ll be back with my review when the film is out. I CANNOT WAIT.