Dear Black Girl,
America does not love you, Black Girl. You are the most disrespected, unprotected, neglected person in America, Black Girl. Not only by your white counterparts, but even by your own. The envious will strip you of your Black Girl Magic and discredit everything you’ve done to find a place in this world and call it their own. From your full lips to your acrylic finger tips. Before you were big lip monkey, now everyone is lip plumping and injecting foreign chemicals into their lower lip to achieve the full miraculous Kylie Jenner lips and hips. Black Girl, they do not want you to succeed, and when you speak your mind, Black Girl, they will call you angry, ugly, and loud. Don’t let them. You show them you are confident, comfortable, and courageous in your body. When you walk down the street, you walk with your head high and your crown even higher. When you receive stares at your beautiful bouncy locs defying laws of gravity, on stress. Black Girl, it is time to reclaim your crown and to keep it.
Black Girl, do you see that they have even forced you to hate yourself? Black Girl, do you see that they ask you to apply bleach to your skin and chemically alter your hair? What has happened to your dark, thick bush of love growing from your garden of roots? And your skin Black Girl, why have you washed away the rich brown melanin that once lay upon your skin? They have created a single beautiful. For acceptance we had to comply with their standards, European standards. You had to have long straight hair, a thin nose, fair to light skin, but at the same time not be better than them, because you are still black. The worst part of it all, is we complied, not thinking of the potential damage to ourselves and to our future generations. Would you instill self-hatred to your children? Then love yourself, for they to love themselves too. Black Girl, it is time to be selfish and reclaim that crown because you will be respected, protected, and noticed in America.
Now imagine this Black Girl, you are 7 years old, walking down your quiet majority white neighborhood after a long day of first grade with your baby doll with blond hair, fair skin, and blue eyes. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and right on schedule, your neighbor is watering his flowers; the perfect time to swim by the sprinklers.
“Hey Black Girl! Why do you have a white baby doll? That ain’t for you baby girl,” the white man laughed.
You pause. Shocked. You stand there, captured with fear. You don't completely grasped what this man just told you. You run, you run in tears. You reach your bedroom and look at your doll. You realize they saw skin color and now you will too.
Growing up, you had lack of confidence and did not necessarily know your place in the world. You saw they did hated you, but could not understand why. So you decided to imitate them to fit into their society, their norm. The first time you relaxed your hair, there was excitement in your eyes. No more scorching hot combs burning on the stove every week. Your hair would be permanently straight and you would only need a touch up every 6-8 weeks. Be careful not scratch before each relaxer, you do not want to receive painful burns from the chemicals altering your hair permanently. Eventually you will realize that chemically processing your hair will not earn you acceptance, but it will be too late, the damage is done. Your hair was falling out and it stopped growing because the chemicals did not work well with your hair, and they still hated you.
You ask yourself again, why do they hate you? Perhaps it was the rich pigmentation of your skin. Perhaps it was the fullness of your lips. Perhaps it was the way your hair broke laws of physics. Perhaps it is jealously. As they say, those who hate you will try to take from you. You realized in your young adult life that, if you did not love yourself, no one else would. Laying in bed with your eyes locked to your screen while pushing your index finger up against the screen scrolling through Instagram’s generic “baddies” and “beautiful” people pages. As you scrolled, you realize a certain trend: you did not have fair skin, long silky hair, and size 0 figure, and everyone else on these pages did. Then you realized you are not everyone else, you are Black Girl.
Black Girl, you will not be told what to do. You will love yourself, you will carry yourself and only yourself. Black Girl, you are not not a doormat nor a ladder. You will not have people step over you for their own success.
Although you are the most disrespected, unprotected, neglected person in America, Black Girl, you will not hold that against anyone. You will lead the way for how you will be treated. How you treat yourself, people will imitate. Black Girl, do us and yourself a favor: love yourself.