I was never big on superheroes. Action really wasn't my thing growing up, but if I had to pick a favorite, I'd say my favorite superheroes were the Mighty Morhpin' Power Rangers. They were regular kids with regular problems, but when they came together, under the guidance of Zordon of course, they could do anything. It still baffles me as to why there wasn't a Black woman ranger, or at least one black female character. We get the yellow ranger, a Vietnamese woman, and Rita, who is Japanese. In fact Rita kinda looked like my grandmother.
It's funny. If you actually met my grandmother, you'd think she was a villain. She isn't the typical grandmother that you hear about. She doesn't care for hugs or babies or sweetness. She appreciates frankness and will talk about you and pray for you in the same sentence. She doesn't care for change and she has no interest or care for people she doesn't know. She is brutally honest, and to some, she'd downright mean. But when I look at her, I see brokenness. I see pain. I see decades of self preservation and determination to save a family that was torn apart by divorce and poverty.
My Gheema (as our family calls her), like most Chicago Black grandmothers, grew up in Jim Crow Mississippi. Born in 1945, my grandmother has been here long enough to see it all. She moved to Chicago in 1968 to escape the confines of a marriage that was over before it started. She was a doer and a dreamer, trapped inside the role of a wife and mother of three. But she was powerful.
She supported her entire family with wisdom and diligence. She didn't allow herself to remain in an abusive situation, even when family and friends encouraged her to. She has always been thrifty and hardworking, going to school in her 40's to get her college degree. Still, she struggled with insecurity, fear, loneliness, and depression. This drove her to create an emotional wall that would become her strength and her weakness-- detachment.
As a textbook INTP-A, I am drawn to people who are able to compartmentalize their emotions, or even avoid them, in attempts to pursue greatness. Rational thinking and managing emotions are valuable tools that many people don't employ. My grandmother is like me. She is neither attention seeking, nor does she enjoy random and unwarranted emotional labor. She thinks. She measures. She informs and arms herself. She's a bit stubborn, but it's kept her alive. Most importantly, she loves hard. Her ability to separate her emotions from her commitments caused her to be a mother that would go to no end for her children. She suffered in silence while taking care of her children alone. It's not that she doesn't feel. She makes her feelings take a backseat to her dedication. She is honest and loyal. She is a safe space. She is an advocate. She is a fighter. She is my favorite superhero. She reminds me that with God, I can do anything.