Dear Little Black Girl,
You’re going to grow up in a world where society will try to DEFINE you by your color. DO NOT LET THEM. The white world will see you simply as black. They won’t see the beauty of what being black means. The rich and vibrant culture that you come from. They will miss the strength that you carry within. The generations of black women who suffered and fought for a better world for you to live in. The determination and drive you were born with to be the best version of yourself that you can be. They will tell you that your body is just a sexual object. That you are not the definition of “beautiful”. That you will not succeed. They will make life harder for you then those from their white world. What they fail to see little black girl is that ‘beauty’ is defined from within. NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can make you less beautiful than you were born to be. You were born to stand out and shine among those who choose to conform. You were born to challenge society’s definition of beauty. You were born with courage, heart, and unconditional love. You were born to make their white world uncomfortable. You see, you are unique. And so are the other little black girls.
Look at the beautiful black girls around you as your sisters. As your tribe. Embrace one another. Treat them with respect and dignity. Love them as you would love your family. Fight for them as they should fight for you. DO NOT FIGHT AGAINST THEM. When we fight each other we all lose. Do not perpetuate the conversation that each generation before you has continuously done. Do not fall into the trap of light vs. dark. The white world does not see light skin or dark skin. They just see black. CHANGE the conversation. Make each conversation about your truth. DO NOT belittle any other black girls struggle and DO NO let them belittle yours. Our truths are what make us so diverse. So eclectic. So UNIQUE. Each one is just as important as the other.
Know your WORTH. Do not accept anything less than your worth. Your body is YOUR temple. It is not a man’s. Never let a man decide for you what you will and will not do with it. Recognize that your sexuality is something you should embrace and not shy away from, but understand that because of it at times you will be seen and treated as an object. You are not an object. You are a person with thoughts, ideas, and opinions. OWN THEM. Know that you are not alone. That other black girls are facing the same objectification as you are. That your story is not the only one. Speak out for yourself and the other black girls around you. Do not shrink away because men call you “loud.” Never let them silence your voice. It is powerful and strong. It NEEDS to be heard.
Allow yourself to fail in life. When you fail, you learn. Every failure is an opportunity to better yourself. It DOES NOT mean you are a failure. It simply means you are growing as an individual. You will stumble. You will fall. But always pick yourself back up and move forward. Don’t worry about what is in your past. It’s the past for a reason. It IS NOT your future. Don’t EXPECT anything. You will have to work for every successful moment you achieve. You will work twenty times harder than those who are white and even your fellow black boys. Understand you have two strikes against you. You are a girl and you are black. But also understand that, that does not limit you unless YOU let it. Push past the boundaries and through the stereotypes. SHOW them your intelligence, your determination, and your drive. When you succeed, because know that you WILL. Do so humbly and with class. Be grateful and understand that you are blessed. Do not leave other black girls behind if you can elevate them as well. Bring those around you up with you.
Most importantly. LOVE YOURSELF. None of what you achieve in life will every truly matter if you don’t love the little black girl that you are. When you look in the mirror do not dissect what you see. Do not make what is whole, pieces. Recognize that you were born to be different. It’s not a curse. It’s the most amazing blessing. Own that. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing more powerful than who GOD created you to be.
Account Relationship Associate for Huntington National Bank