Nicole Lawrence: Queer Black Woman Making History at

Nicole Lawrence

Photo by Nailah Fisher of NFisher Photography, © 2017

Be Yourself – Make History

I’m making Black history in 2018 by being myself. As cliche as that may sound, it is my act of defiance. In our current sociopolitical climate, people of color (especially Black folk) are treated as if we have no rights or place in a land we’ve built. To be myself is to go against all of that. Every misconception and disrespect handed to me as a Black woman. I refuse to accept the stories this country has offered about what it means to be Black. I have my own.

I’m a first generation American. My parents left their “shithole” country for one thing: opportunity. They came here with vision, drive, and the persistence to not only build themselves, but as well as a country that would never validate their experiences. When they left the shores of our homeland, it wasn’t just for them. It was for me, and for all the people who come after us to build a life of their choosing.

As a Jamaican-American queer woman, I make Black history by writing my own. Each year that passes is another chapter in my story. In 2018, my focus is to be unapologetic. For my very existence in this skin. My drive to fight for it. I am resilient. I will always stand for the things I know to be true. Writing against injustice is my way of doing that. I believe words have power. They remain long after we’ve gone. As a people, we have a long history of survival. I am a survivor. So now that I have survived, I will thrive. Following in the footsteps of those who came before me, I’m creating a life—no, a story—not just for myself, but for those who come after.

It’s important to recognize that as “people of color”, we need spaces where we are free to be ourselves. In a country built by the dehumanization of an entire people, it’s crucial for our youth to be heard, felt and understood as human.

Nicole Lawrence

I Am No Victim

With this in mind, I’ve created an online community catered to young people of color who have survived abuse entitled I AM NO VICTIM. Launched on February 1st, it is a network dedicated to changing the narrative surrounding youth survivors by promoting community in truth, healing, and the reclaiming of personal power on the way to recovery.

I hope to foster a space where youth are given access to resources and support they may not have in their own communities. As well as somewhere to reclaim power they may have never fully realized in themselves. A place to just be—in spite of a world that tries daily to unmake them. Or tell them who they are. Somewhere they can define themselves, for themselves.

To make Black history in 2018 is to add your story to a long history of Black people who have been defiant. This year, I’m writing my story.


Nicole Lawrence

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