Be sure to subscribe and visit The Lens every Tuesday for a new #dearblackgirl letter submission. As promised, here is out latest #dearblackgirl letter written by Shamieka L. Rhinehart from Durham, NC. We are grateful for Shamieka taking up her pen!
Dear Black Girl:
I am writing to tell you that you are a SUN; a SUN shining bright within an entire universe that belongs to you. Black girl, as black women, we are all beacons of light that give hope to so many. Whether we have light, caramel or dark skin, Black girl, you are a Sun. At times black girl, the world will tell you that you don’t shine, or can’t shine bright enough or that your shine is dull. But black girl, please remember this, that no matter the circumstances, you have the ability to shine, because as black women, we all have been developed like film in photographer’s dark room, but once exposed to the magnificent light, our beauty has been exposed for the world to see.
Warmth – Black girl you are a Sun, because you bring warmth to so many dark places. As a black woman, there is healing in your warmth. Don’t let the world tell you that you are ghetto or bitter. Don’t let the world tell you that you are cold or undesirable because your skin is too dark, or your hips are too wide or your speech is too harsh. Black girl, share your warmth to yourself, the world and your fellow sisters. Be kind to yourself. But, also be kind to your fellow sisters. Never talk bad or backstab your sisters. Like the sun is the sky, lift your fellow black sisters to the sky. Elevate them. Also, forgive yourself and forgive others with your warm heart. There is no greater power than forgiveness. Stay warm black girl. Your power is in your warmth.
Power – Black girl, you are a Sun, because a SUN is powerful and reigns supreme over the Universe. Black girl, never let any person tell you that you are not powerful in your blackness. Strut your black womanhood with all your might. Understand that there is power in our different hues and hair. Black girl, we are different, but we are powerful together. Suns dominate; Suns are in control. Understand that many will tell you that you are unworthy and not powerful. Some will criticize the way you talk, your ideas or your upbringing. They might just criticize you period. But remember this, the Sun never falls from the skies. Stars may fall, but the Sun reigns bright and supreme over the Universe. It’s your world, we are just blessed to be a part of it.
Survivor – Black girl you are a survivor. I don’t know you black girl, but just remember that you are a Survivor. It is in your ancestral DNA. You come from a line of black women who bore the wounds from slavery, who birthed leaders from their wombs and fostered families within brokenness. You come from a line of black women who rise everyday like the Sun to deal with the bitterness and crap that life gives to us. Black girl, I will not lie to you. You will have to swallow your share of pain, loss of love, failed relationships, disappointments and mistreatment due to the evil called racism. But remember this, nothing we go through in this life is wasted. When bad things happen to us in this life, learn this lesson that life is trying to teaching. You are not your circumstances. Do not be scared to get knocked down, because you can always get back up. Just like the Sun. The Sun might set in the sky and the Sun might disappear during the fall of night, but it rises again and again.
Black girl, it is my hope that you know exactly how bright and powerful you are. It is my prayer that you live a beautiful life in the midst of all the things that life will throw at you. Remember this, keep the Creator first, because the Creator can dream a vision bigger than you can dream yourself. Stay humble, because your destiny is within your humility and be bold to know that you are worthy of every good thing that happens to you. I feel safe that you will make black women everywhere proud. I am proud of you because you are me and I am you. Keep shining bright Sun. Remember this last thing. When things get dark in life and the storms come, “ I am a Sun, everything else is the weather.
Shamieka L. Rhinehart
Shamieka L. Rhinehart is 40 years old, and an Assistant District Attorney in Durham, North Carolina