Looking back, growing up was a mixture of not getting my way, doing good in school, making sure I make my parents proud, respecting my elders, having manners, etc. But what I did not realize was the struggle I would have as a little Black girl and how I was at a disadvantage twice. Do not mistake me, I SAW the difference of how I was treated, but it never really registered to me. I would encounter the micro-aggressions that would sting, but I had no idea it was on such a large scale. All the way through high school, I continued to ignore those differences and internalized those aggressions against me and thought there was something and that I did not belong. I was aware of terms such as RACISM or RACIST or PREJUDICE, but I had no clue what they entailed. I never knew the impact it had on my identity and my self-esteem as I just thought it was normal. I thought it was NORMAL that I had to work hard to get where I wanted to be. I thought it was NORMAL to carry an emotional and psychological burden on my shoulders because the disparity was not pointed out that would be my plight as an Black Woman.
Now that I am raising my own 10-year old Black woman, I have to teach her the actual meanings of why she be treated different and why she will have to work twice as hard in a country for those that are white and male. I have to teach her that not only is there a separatism between men and women, I have to teach her why there is a separatism between Black men & Black women and the failure of the Black family. I must show her how to reach financial independence and being a staple in her community of black people. I have to teach her about God Given purpose and walking in that always knowing the difference between her talents and her gifts to continue to serve God. I’m proud to say my child enjoys watching the news, but I have to teach her the difference between the lies and doing her own research. I remember when she was 5 years old, I had to let her know that her natural hair was beautiful and that her brown skin was the ultimate standard. I have to show her that her identity isn’t in becoming what is called appropriate by THEIR standards, it would be by her own and I have my work cut out… but it will be worth all the trouble.