This week’s inspiring #dearblackgirl letter is written by Michele Bryant Powell who reminds us to celebrate our joy. Thank you, Michele, for taking up your pen!
Dear Black Girl,
I mourn the little girl in you. I mourn your self esteem that has suffered at the hands of other peoples insecurity of your skin tone. I mourn your uniqueness that has been stifled because other people placed you in a box. I mourn your creative light that is dimmed because other people shrink from your brilliance. I mourn your bold voice because other people could not stand to hear your truth. I mourn your truth that has been misunderstood and labeled “radical” or “playing the race card.” Yes, I mourn but I am reminded that “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.”
My dear black girl, your joy is not defined by other people’s acceptance of you. They tried to label you, stifle you, extinguish you and silence you. They tried it! However, in spite of the false messages, stumbling blocks, insubordination and blatant disrespect that has been hurled at you since you were a little girl, they did not anticipate that your joy would be your strength. They did not anticipate that the tenacity of your ancestors and the perseverance of your culture would instill in you a sense of survival that sometimes even surprises you. They did not expect that the name calling would propel you to be proud of your blackness. They did not expect that your creativity would use their box as a think tank to strategize your next dream. They did not expect that your silence would erupt into a sweet song within your soul that would give you hope in pain, light in darkness and joy in sorrow.
My dear black girl, you have everything within you that you need to outlive your life. You have strength, courage, light, laughter, style, class and most of all joy. Sing your song, dance your dance, shout your story and dream your dream. This world is not big enough to contain you. Go light it up!
Michele Bryant Powell is the Founder & Executive Director of Transformed Lives, Inc. She is 55 years young and is from Newport, NC.