Dear Little Brown Girl
I watched you today. In a sea full of blonde and red and brown silky strands, your head full of dark brown course plates stood out. And even though your three-year-old communication skills are limited, I’m sure you were aware.
I watched as your head stayed perfectly still, but your big brown eyes rolled back and forth, following your classmates, soaking it all in.
I wanted to hug you. And talk to you. And tell you what I wish an older brown skin woman had told me, when I was you.
Sis, you are a Queen in the making. Please don’t forget it. Even if you don’t comprehend all the words and lessons I am trying to convey to you, please hide them in your heart. They will come up again, when you need it the most.
Your thick braids, laden and adorned with bobbles and barrettes, will one day turn into so much more. As you travel through time, they will give way to thick coils, twist outs, or silken strands, all of which are strong enough to hold your crown up. Did I tell you that you will trade in those barrettes for a crown? Yep! Sometimes invisible. But it will be there! And when life burdens you, and your head tilts, I pray there is another Queen to remind you to hold your head high. “Don’t let your crown slip.”
Your brown skin, kissed by sun, melanin blessed, is not just a social media meme or a cliché. It is the truth. It is beautiful. There will come a time when you will hear “Black don’t crack” and you will smile. Because it doesn’t. And your skin is proof. YOU are proof.
Sis, own your beauty, inwardly and outwardly. As your body buds and your hips protrude, wherever it stops, know that you are beautiful. Know that your body is precious. That you are valuable. Know that you are smart. Know that you are more than capable. Know that you are enough.
I see you looking at the other girls. I can almost see you question whether that is the standard of beauty. Her, with her milky white skin and freckles and long locs. The world….media and magazine covers will tell you that she is beautiful, and she is. But so are you! You have a long journey ahead of you. Don’t let them shake you. They didn’t make you. Learn early, you can admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.
Know that you are beauty and brains. Show off your brilliance. Exude wisdom. Be confident in what you know. Don’t be afraid to ask about what you don’t know. Work hard. Push yourself to be greater, to be better. And when anyone tells you that you can’t, make sure you show them how you will.
Read Phenomenal Woman by Dr. Maya Angelou. Everyday. When life gets hard. When you began to listen to the naysayers. When you forget what I’m begging you to remember! Read it. And remind yourself, little brown girl, that the phenomenal woman is you!
Love yourself! Accept yourself! Be yourself!
Be kind to others. We all have a road to walk, and sometimes it will be hard. When you can help, do so. But always offer kindness. Even to those that may have been unkind to you. This is walking in love.
Boys will make you cry. Try not to let them see it. Please remember that you won’t die from a broken heart. But you will remember the pain. Let that be a reminder to be careful with the hearts that you are entrusted with.
Listen to your elders. They have wisdom. It may come across as mean. But take what you can from what they say and apply it when you can. Soak in recipe instructions. You will need those one day. Learn to sew, even if it’s just a button and a zipper.
Be a true friend to your friends. You can’t do life without them.
Love on your parents while they are here. One day, they won’t be.
Live with no regrets.
I know this is a lot. I know that it can be overwhelming. I don’t expect you to get it all at once. I don’t have it down pat either. But I want you to try. Every day. The way I try. Every day. Practice makes perfect!
Dear Little Brown Girl, be confident in who God made when He made you…in how God made you. And walk in it. Stroll in it. Just like a Queen.