My little sister, Ashley, was the bane of my existence as a little girl. She was smart, nosy and just–she was my own D.W. from Arthur! We are only three years apart, but indeed I can say now, she is one of the best people in the world. I just now, past 30, I am becoming a better sister to her.
Growing up, however, I noticed how people would look at her after they looked at me. Growing up we were always told how pretty we were. We were always coifed and cute with only 3 melanin shades between us. With all that said, I always thought she was pretty. She has this deep cocoa tone to her skin that I envied. It was smooth and she indeed is a powerful, chocolate princess! She was always pretty. I hope she still knows that.
Our father was ebony dark and our mother is this gorgeous mocha brown, and they got us two from the roux of their together. It saddens me of how the world treats little dark skinned black girls. If I could have given my sister anything else of my strength, or saged wisdom it would be this:
My Little Sister-
You are beautiful. I don’t tell you this often enough, and the world around you never may. I want you to know that your skin tone can and never has determined your worth. You are not pretty for a black girl, you are not ugly because you’re dark skinned. This melanin you have is amazing and makes you unique. Your beauty is not defined or kept by magazines! Your beauty is within yourself, how you see yourself and what is in your mirror. In spite of all the world throws at you, all it can do is through–is throw.
It throws these slings and arrows of outrageous fortune come to chip at you, devalue you, and remind you of how ‘less’ you are than anyone else. This is not the case. The crazy, insidious nature of colorism and white supremacy wants you to believe to be black, to be non-white, to not be white, is to not be enough–or be seen as enough.
I want you to take heart that you have all you need inside of you, everything else is background noise. You are responsible for what you know and what you act on. The words spoken to you that you decide to believe are the ones which have the most power. Don’t fall victim to thinking the words of other people indeed matter–they don’t. I want you to know you are awesome and amazing! I want you to know all of you I admire. You aren’t pretty for a black girl, you aren’t an ugly because you are skin is variant shades of cocoa.
I love you, and you are enough. In being enough, no one can tell you what you are not. Hold fast in what you know to be true, in what you are. Remember, you are young, gifted and black. You command all you demand, and are worthy of all the success you seek.
I believe in you. I believe you can do it. Go forward and conquer.
Take over black girl, take over!
P.S. You can tell the haters that your Big Sister said:
[images by Google]