Pride is "feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired". Pride only becomes evil when it becomes excessive. The sin of pride; the deadly sin that is vanity.
But if one's pride is not excessive, if it is in fact well deserved, what is wrong with it? The Answer: Nothing at all.
Head up, chest out, and WORK IT!
The better you feel about yourself, inside and out, the better you are inclined to carry yourself. I'm speaking from experience here.
Once upon a time, I did not bother. I told myself investing "too much" time in looking well was a waste. I wasn't dating or trying to look good for anyone. What did it matter? So I put very little effort into carrying myself very well. The absolute indifference I had regarding my overall outward appearance is startling in retrospect.
Black women, looking and feeling good is something you are absolutely allowed, no matter what anyone says. You don't need anyone's approval or permission to think that you're the cat's meow. A beautiful, powerful, self-assured black woman is a force of nature. Anyone that says otherwise has clearly never seen one.
And if that force of nature is you, then be doubly proud, because you are a representation of the culmination of everything a black woman is and should always be.
Why you have the right to be proud of yourself
You, my dear, are at the bottom of NO ONE'S totem pole or check-list. You do not need to wait in line in order to be patted on the head for existing. You, as your own individual, are beholden to your own happiness first, and if you feel good about your own self, then there is no waiting period for expressing it.
You have the right to be proud of yourself and whatever you have achieved because you did work for it and because you are seeing and feeling the fruits of your labors. A black woman who dares to express joy over having accomplished something (especially something she never dreamed of doing) is not wrong or obnoxious. What is it with people rushing to silence the black woman who is satisfied with herself?!
As stated, excessive pride is indeed a bad thing. But to tell a black woman that she is wrong to express any sort of pride in herself (or not the pre-approved amount) is a lie, fairy tale, and a fallacy. And I'm speaking to all black women everywhere on this: Don't let anyone steal your pride in yourself or try and knock you back into place. They aren't doing it on your behalf, that's for sure. It doesn't matter if the person is friend or stranger, step around them and stroll on with your head held high.
Be proud of yourself, even when it seems no one else is. If you have pride in yourself and all that you are, anything anyone else has to say on the matter of how good you are allowed to feel about yourself isn't even secondary.
So, are you proud of yourself? If not, then why and what has to happen for this to change?