We are delighted to share another beautifully written #dearblackgirl letter, which was penned by 23 years old Maneo Mohale who is a student from Johannesburg, South Africa. Thank you Maneo for taking up your pen!
Dear Black Girl,
Ever hear that song, “Mama said they’d be days like this, they’d be days like this, my mama said”?
Something about the melody reminds me of summer days.
Of bright orange peaches, and sticky-soft mangoes that were so ripe that the sticky juice would ooze in between your fingers and all the way down your arm. Of days where my mother would warn me not to eat too many of my grandmother’s freshly-baked, straight-from-the-oven biscuits, or else I’d find myself with a tummy ache.
I’d try to listen (I really would), but I’d always give in to the sweet-sweet smell of butter and sugar and vanilla in the air, and I’d find myself stealing a few hot biscuits before my mum could see. And sure enough, by the end of the day, I’d be clutching my tummy in embarrassed discomfort, grudgingly admitting that my mum was so right.
“Mama said they’d be days like this, they’d be days like this, my mama said…”
Dear Black Girl,
I’m here to tell you that there will also be days that your mother never could warn you about. Like the day that you discover what the world sees in your skin – a world still trying to shake the dust of the troublesome past from its eyes.
Or the day you feel a kind of heart-heaviness that you struggle to explain, even to the ones with the ears to listen.
Or the many days that you will spend reaching with wide and desperate arms for songs and stories and movies and music and comics and characters and paintings and pictures that look anything like you. Just so you don’t feel so invisible.
But, my love, you are not invisible.
I see you.
You, my love, hold stories in your skin.
You, my love, are powerful, and precious.
You, my love, are so lovely and so loved.
And today is the day that you begin to tell yourself this, until the day that you finally believe.
Ke’a o rata. (I love you).
Maneo Mohale is a 23 years old student from Johannesburg, South Africa.