Dear Black Girl
Dear Black Girl,
Let me begin this by saying that my intention of writing this is not because I feel like you need to be saved, or that you have it a million times worse than the women around you. I say this because I am you. I identify with you.
I’ve gotten the questions about whether I need to wear sun block in the summer time, why my hair defies gravity, how long did it take to put in my braids, if I love watermelon, or if the only drink in my house is the red Kool-Aide.
I also know that you grew up in a household where the cure for all your problems was prayer and ginger ale. And that you better not come home with anything less than a A- on your progress report. Oh, and let’s not forget the look Momma gave us when we asked for McDonald’s because, “We got food at home.”
I also know how awkward the “compliment” “You’re pretty for a black girl” can be, and how much it hurts when your crush says he’d never date a black girl.
I know it, well, because I lived it. I told you, I identify with you. I know how it feels and I know what you’re going through.
I once sat in an all white classroom where I was told that I have two strikes against me in society: one, that I’m a woman, and two, that I’m a black woman. Realizing that, I felt like I’ve been walking on eggshells my entire life, like I’m being scrutinized for every little thing I do or say. Like I always have to try extra hard for people to stay off my back, or to be given an opportunity.
I think our black father figure in television, Mr. Eli Pope of Scandal said it best, “You have to be…twice as good as them to get half of what they have,” and boy do I understand the pressures of being a woman of color in today’s society…
Don’t be ghetto, but don’t be too bougie. Get an education, but don’t act like you’re a know it all. Your natural hair is beautiful, but don’t wear your ‘fro in a professional setting. Provide for yourself because you don’t need a man, but when are you going to settle down and get married and start a family? Only lightskins with curly hair are the pretty ones, but omg hello my chocolate princess nubian queen. But why are you always yelling and you always look so angry???
There is a constant struggle of not being good enough when you’re a woman of color. But the thing is, not matter what you do or say, or how you dress or act, people will always talk. So let them. You should not be ashamed of your blackness.
I know we’ve been sexualized for our curvy figures or our full lips that celebs pay top notch for, but we are more than just our features. We are more than just what society wants us to be. We are art. We are magic. We are kissed by the sun.
For every social setting where you’re the token black person, for every black man who doesn’t pursue you, for every job you don’t get, hold you head up and and don’t let your crown fall. You are a queen, a woman of value, a woman of God, and no one has to tell you how much you mean to this world, tell yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t enough, because my love, you very much are.
You are smart, you are exotic, you are beautiful, you are strong, and you are so important and so much bigger than the situations that you’re placed in. You don’t see it, but I do, and in time, you will. Demand respect, be confident and fierce, and know that you are made in God’s perfect image.
And in case no one told you today, your melanin is forever poppin’ so love it, embrace it, cherish it, and know that your black is beautiful.
An unapologetically black girl