We recently discovered an awesome Black News & Culture blog called Blavity, the self-proclaimed “voice of Black Millennials”. They publish content daily, covering important topics relevant to today’s Black community and is an excellent source of knowledge and resources.
There are many pieces on the blog that we found interesting, but there was one article in written by Gabi Thorn that we particularly felt the need to share: “A Love Letter to Black Women”. After reading it, you will understand why. Check it out below.
From the Ted talk “How To Raise a Black Man” to Yale’s “To My Unborn Son” campaign, there is a focus on the plight of a Black man in a society where he is not accepted. There is nothing inherently wrong with these campaigns or videos. They are important and much needed in this society where being Black is almost seen as a curse. They capture what it means to be a Black man, but the problem is that I am not a Black man.
Black women have an interesting place in society, being both Black and a woman. They are caught in between two struggles they never asked to bear. There’s the struggle of living in a society where “White is right” and being Black is a curse, where Black bodies are killed simply for the color of their skin and where their only home is inside of a jail cell. Then there is the added struggle of living in a society where women can be sexually assaulted and then later blamed for wearing a skirt too short or pants too tight, where a woman must choose between a career and a family because the two are apparently mutually exclusive and where a woman is forced into these gender roles that allow them to use their mouth for only one thing — and it doesn’t involve speaking.
Being a Black woman means understanding certain things about your perceived place in society and developing a set of skills to prepare yourself for the wars you will be thrust into. It means knowing there is a way to act, think and even breathe in this racist White supremacist society.
Your beauty will be constantly questioned and denied. Your natural hair will be rejected. In fact, it will be called ugly, unruly and even untamed. The way you wear it will become a political statement. It will decide everything from your job opportunities to your beauty. You will doubt that the kinks and/or curls in your hair are beautiful because all your life you have seen straight hair being valued. The color of your skin will decide your beauty and worth as well. Those natural curves in your hips and your lips will only be valued when it’s put on a body with white skin.
Because of that, Black women, I need you to understand, you must understand, that you are beautiful queens. You are the very embodiment of beauty. From your wondrous hair full of curls and/or kinks that cannot be comprehended by others, to the beautiful melanin that fills every part of your skin, you are queens.
I repeat. You. Are. Queens.
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