Changing the Black Girl Narrative : Introduction
In my personal opinion, Black women have a particular mystery about them which could be translated as magical. Historically resilient, fierce, loyal, and resourceful, Black women have had to overcome numerous obstacles and today, still, fight for equality and for their voices to be heard. I’m sure it can be agreed on by many, that although we come from various backgrounds and situations, we share a familiar narrative, a journey that not only shapes who we are as we get older, but affects the present and future generations of Black girls.
I’m sure many Black girls, including myself, have been told at some point in our lives, “you have to work twice as hard to go half as far.” Although this advice can be seen as a somewhat cynical view of the world, it has given other women and myself an incomparable work ethic as well as a push to be strong, work hard, and to take pride everything I do.
All Black women are fighters. This is a fact. I cannot justifiably look at another Black woman in a different situation than my own and judge her life, because I know for a fact that she is fighting. Fighting for workplace equality. Fighting for her family. Fighting to have her voice heard in a world that wants her to be silent.
This is our shared narrative. To fight. Some feel as if they’ve been fighting their entire lives, for some, the fight has just begun, and for others, the fight is in the future. And although our we fight for different things, we are all fighting together as Black women. But what if we could change this narrative? What if we could change the way our daughters see and navigate the world? It’s easy to sit and wait for others to make choices and changes on our behalf, but who’s going to make changes on our daughter’s behalf, or our daughter’s daughters?
There is another common narrative that Black women share that I didn’t mention at the beginning. We are all powerful. Powerful in our own ways, but powerful beyond measure. We are, in fact, so powerful, that we have been suppressed, as not to disrupt the system that’s in place now; a system that works in men’s favor, and treats women, especially women of African and Latino descent, as second-class citizens.
But we have an advantage with sharing a common narrative. It allows us the opportunity to come together and to help lift each other up. It allows us to stand in solidarity when it comes to the daily fights we have – with the reassurance that we are not alone.
Change begins with a conversation. I can list a few things that I wish I had been able to talk about with my mother, an aunt, or a friend – love, identity, the importance of education. These conversations could’ve helped me navigate the world as a Black girl, and given me the tools I need to not have to fight. It’s not too late to begin this conversation, to change the narrative that young girls and future generations will have to experience.
I fully understand that it’s impossible for me to change things alone. That’s why I sincerely hope that these blog posts can be part of a larger conversation; one that mothers have with their daughters, older sisters to little sisters, teachers and community leaders with the young girls that look up to them.
With that being said, I have one request to my readers. Please, please, either leave a comment, email me, DM me on Instagram, letting me know ways we can all contribute to changing the common Black girl narrative, for ourselves and for future generations.