Be sure to check out our feature on #dearblackgirl on NBCBLK, if you missed it! We are beyond grateful for the outpouring of #dearblackgirl love. This is a space where we can and will hold the nuance of experience and voice. Many black girls and women have had moments where an elder, mentor, or friend shares wisdom that is quite simply glorious and life changing. Many of us have also been privy to well meaning advice that left our heads spinning and our hearts aching. Some of the #dearblackgirl letters you will read will make you signify out loud and proud. Others may make your head tilt, may take you back to those head spinning aching moments. We ask you to hold the space: agree, disagree, be angry, be grateful, wonder, think it through, feel it all. Go on this journey with us and know we are resolved that it will not be in vain. Today, we share with you a #dearblackgirl submission from Rosslyn Rowe. Thank you, Rosslyn, for taking up your pen!
Dear Back Girl,
I am a fifty-six year old black woman, a native of Washington, DC, the product of Southeast’s housing projects. I was the middle child of seven with both parents doing the best that they knew how, and I wanted more for my family. My father was a construction worker and showed us what impeccable work ethic looked like and my mother could stretch a dollar so far that we didn’t even realize we were poor.
At twenty-four I purchased a home in Northeast, Washington, DC so that my family could experience homeownership, landlord freedom and a renewed sense of self.
The following year I ventured into entrepreneurship, with no previous business experience. Knowing that I had the support of my family and friends I took a leap of faith and after a few years in business as the CEO and master hairstylist of my own salon I became the mother of a now twenty-six year old daughter.
Being a black woman, single mother and CEO of my own establishment has not always been easy, yet it’s been extremely rewarding. I’ve met some beautiful people, I have established wonderful relationships and have enjoyed the company of an array of personalities from all over the globe.
I was the little black project girl with big dreams and aspirations who sought to make my parents proud and support myself and my siblings in choosing our best lives. At thirty-five years old I bought and have now paid off a piece of commercial property in one of Montgomery County’s finest downtown areas.
Today with the help of The Lord God Almighty I am fighting to maintain my health and winning after the doctor’s diagnosed me with cancer a little over a year ago, but I say “healed”. Life is precious and I encourage you to trust God at all times. Things may not look or feel the way you think they should, but persevere. I’m a strong believer and I walk in great faith. Dream, set goals and then pursue them. Watch how the hand of God moves in your life.
Rosslyn C. Rowe
Rosslyn Rowe is 56 years old, a CEO & Master Hairstylist from Washington D.C.