To all my young black queens, this message is for you. As well as for your parents, mentors, and educators.
As you grow up, you may go through periods where you feel defeated, insecure, and like you aren’t enough. I am here to tell you that you are strong, unstoppable, and unmatched.
I have felt inequality, racism, and a sense of “otherness” based on my skin color in educational and professional settings, and as a black dancer. Be courageous for those that look up to you and that will follow in your footsteps later. It took me a while to recognize the strength and power that I have, which is why I think it is extremely important to uplift, guide, and inspire our black girls early.
I created a list of statements that my mom instilled in me, as well as some that I’ve learned along the way:
You are intelligent.
You are creative and talented.
You are beyond beautiful. Your mind. Your heart. Your smile. You skin. Your natural curls. Your afro. Your hair in general.
Your melanin is radiant, regardless of how light or dark it is.
You are strong and capable.
You are kind.
Your passion and determination is inspiring.
…and I cannot say this enough – YOU ARE ENOUGH!
I understand that you can hear this from home and yet, the world and society may still make you feel less than at times. YOU ARE NOT. Parents, mentors, and educators, please praise your black queens more often. They need it. You may feel that it is implied, but from experience, it is not always, so let them hear this from you. Read these as many times as you feel necessary and share them with all.
Here are pictures of a few that I’ve been blessed to be a sister to, meet, mentor, or teach. I want you all to know that I am forever proud of you and you are capable of anything you put your mind to. I know it because I’ve seen it. We may not talk to or see each other much, but always remember, I am continuously rooting for you and watching your growth.
Love you always -Alex (or some may refer to me as Miss Alex or Sunny)