Life is hard. It can be extra hard for a Black girl who will one day become a Black woman. What do you tell her about this thing called life and how to navigate the twists and turns? What pearls, what gems, what lessons will help her along the way? Here are 10 powerful quotes by powerful Black women whose lives and accomplishments have been able to light a path for the rest of us. Teach Black girls about these Black women (and others of course), teach them these quotes, and the lessons within them.
“I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all.” —Zora Neale Hurston
Teach her that Black is beautiful. Her Black is beautiful. Period. Full stop. Exclamation point. No commas. No maybes. No ifs. No buts. Her Black, her beautiful is something to be celebrated and never ashamed of. Teach her that being a Black woman does not have to be accompanied with a ‘woe is me’ soundtrack or the idea that being Black and tragic are synonymous. It should not be treated as an albatross around her neck, something that she should want to shake off. It is an opportunity for her to be awesome, to rock out, to climb new heights, and make new discoveries about herself and the world around her. Teach her that she can defy the world’s expectations of the tragically colored; she can prove them wrong.
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” —Audre Lorde
Teach her that Blackness is not just one thing. It’s not this way or that way because there’s not just one right way to be a Black woman. There are a million ways to be a Black woman and no one can tell her that she’s doing it wrong. And if they do? Teach her how to tell them, “Tough, deal with it.” Tell her that she doesn’t have to conform or contort herself into society’s views or fantasies of Black women. Teach her that only she can define who she is—her Blackness, her womanhood, and everything in between. Teach her the power in defining these things for herself. Encourage her to stand in them. Be proud of them. Nurture them. Love them. Share them with the world.
Read more over at forharriet.com.