Hello to all of the brilliant young black women out there! I offer my sincerest apologies for the delay in completing another post. I seriously took time out and evaluated where I would be going after graduation. Now that I have at least the first 2 years of my life figured out (Yaaay!!!), I felt it would be a great time to speak on the third installment of Young Black Women and the Issues We Face.
In the post written on December 15th, I linked to a Kola Boof article titled, “Race and Beauty in America.” For those who have not read the article, Kola speaks on her thoughts regarding beauty and race being socially constructed within a white supremacist patriarchal system. She also states that a woman’s status in many cultures is directly tied to being married or having a man, and within communities of color, status for a woman is greatly increased if she is closer to whiteness in physical appearance.
I felt this was an important essay to use as a precursor to Part 3 because it mentions issues I believe affect young black women who have been raised for the majority of their lives in the United States or among Western cultures. How many of you felt that your skin color, hair texture, hair length, or facial features were a disadvantage to you? How many of you feel this reduced your degree of desirability among black men or non-black men in general? How many of you still feel this way today? I would venture to say, it is VERY difficult to NOT feel this way at least ONCE in your lifetime, unless you have been raised in an extremely pro-black woman environment all your life. As young black women, I believe in order for one to live well, there is NO ROOM for feeling even the slightest bit of inferiority compared to other women because of our race or complexion, even if this is reinforced by men who identify as black as well. I could go on and on about how there are clear marks of unfairness doled out to young black women to which some of us have never played a part in. Some of us have not perpetuated the stereotypes used to justify ill-treatment toward black women. However, if one is truly serious about living well, a miniscule mental set back such as feeling we are unworthy compared to other women, or out of luck compared to other women could be detrimental to our goal of living well. We must secure ourselves in such a way that enforces our advancement in EVERY WAY. This means absolutely no room for self-doubt, self-pity, self-hate, and the like.
I urge each of you who may be feeling this way to engage in behavior that affirms who you are as a young black women in a positive light consistently. It could be looking in the mirror everyday and saying something positive about how you look. It could be making that extra effort to adorn your body well everyday out of a love and respect for your presentation. It could mean shutting off the faucet of negative depictions or words about young black women by changing the television channel, or shutting the radio off. It could be associating with only those who reciprocate the love and nurture that you give and need to thrive. For some, this is a very difficult task because you may not have access to the resources or environments that affirm who you are as young black women. Believe me when I say, every little bit counts. You have to be fully committed to wanting the absolute best for yourself, believe it whole-heartedly, and fix whatever it is about yourself that makes it difficult for you to accept this possible reality.
Several Posts on other blogs have been raining down with blessings of information and uplifting words that you as a young black woman can use to motivate and propel you in a better direction. Check them out ASAP!
Let’s get moving Ladies. We can do it! We are, YOUNG BLACK WOMEN DETERMINED TO LIVE WELL!
About Young BW Determined to Live Well
After being a faithful reader of various blogs dedicated to positively influencing black women, I recognized quite a few young black women in their teens, 20's, and 30's who were touched by the message as much as myself. This blog is my attempt to reach out and connect with young black women on issues we may be facing at a very transitional time in our lives. I encourage all, irrespective of age, class, origin, etc. to participate in the discussions and brainstorming sessions we have. I look forward to the potential of this blog and hope to hear from Young Black Women Determined to Live Well like myself!