We have a new #dearblackgirl letter for you. The following letter was submitted by L’Oreal Thompson Payton. Many thanks to L’Oreal for taking up your pen and sharing your words.
Dear Black Girl,
Believe it or not, once upon a time I didn’t want to be Black. I despised the melanin in my skin and regarded my “ethnic features” with disgust. I prayed to God to make me White because I thought then I’d finally be beautiful.
Growing up, I subscribed to teen magazines that featured blonde pop stars with big boobs and blue eyes. And, as a result, I subscribed to mainstream media’s notion that Black was not beautiful.
But I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong.
After becoming involved with the Black Student Association at my college and, even more so, after working at an iconic Black magazine surrounded by smart and savvy Black women, I came to realize Black is, in fact, beautiful. Black is brave and Black is brilliant. And being a Black girl is simply magical.
That’s not to say it’s easy…quite the contrary. Before you’ve even opened your mouth, people are judging you based on the color of your skin and what’s between your legs. You’re branded with the #AngryBlackWoman label before you’ve even had the chance to make your mark on the world.
You’re fighting stereotypes day in and day out. You’re battling prejudices every. single. day. But, to paraphrase the late, great Maya Angelou, “still you rise.” Yes, people will try to make you feel inferior and worthless. Yes, they will call you names. And yes, sometimes it’s going to hurt.
It’s going to take double the amount of work to get to where you want to go. And, once you get there there, people are going to question if you really deserve to be there. But remember this, you are worthy and there’s no one like you.
You were put on this Earth for a reason–whether it’s to cure cancer, become the first Black female president, teach the next generation or pen the great American novel.
You are destined for greatness, so be PROUD of who you are. You come from a long line of queens–truly inspirational women who fought hard for us to be where we are today. Now, in the words of St. Ignatius Loyola, “Go forth and set the world on fire.”
L’Oreal Thompson Payton is 27 years old and is from Belcamp, Maryland. She is a freelance writer as well as a Media Relations Manager for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago.