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“All Girls Rock, But Black Girls….We On Whole ‘Nother Level”

 

Hearing Rihanna say those words at the annual Black Girls Rock event brought a smile to my face. First, just seeing Rihanna at an event like that and accepting the award so beautifully was a heartwarming sight. Second, she said the things that many of us have been trying to get everyone to understand this entire time. That this isn’t about black girls vs. white girls or black girls vs. anybody. It’s about empowering black girls because we already feel as if we’re “not as good as the white girls.” #BlackGirlsAreMagic, #BlackGirlsRock, and #FlexinMyComplexion are all about embracing the many many beautiful things that come with being a black girl. Our kinky coils that grow towards the sun, our beautiful full lips, our gorgeous skin that absorbs light, and so much more.

One thing I love about these hashtags is that it shows that we are an unspoken sorority, as my boyfriend says. We are intricately woven together into a strong force of people who strive to help each other grow. We’re in this together, we always have been and we always will be. Whether you want to believe it or not. We, black women, have such an amazing history of standing up for ourselves, our people, and other amazing things so why is it that young black girls (and even some black women) don’t believe in themselves now? Is it because they feel that no one cares about them? Is it because they’re afraid no one will care what they have to say because they’re weave isn’t on point? Or because they’re natural hair isn’t long enough? Or because they don’t speak with proper grammar? Or is it because they think they aren’t “light skinned” enough? What is causing this self ­hate among black girls and women around the world? Is it the media? Is it the black community? Or is it both?Growing up I realized that black women are at the bottom of the totem pole.

The totem pole goes like this: white men, white women, black men, and lastly, black women. It’s sad, but I refuse to stay at the bottom. I will rise to the top and raise my voice for the world to hear me speak my mind. No one can shut me down and no one can tell me that what I have to say is unimportant or unnecessary. I will be as loud as I want to be, not as loud a I should be. I will be louder than the stereotypes of endless twerking, long weaves, clawed nails, countless baby daddies, and other stereotypes that continue to ruin the golden reputation of black women across the world. Black women are strong, even in a society that to bring us down and keep us below our full potential. We refuse to be ignored. So there you have it, all girls rock but black girls are just on another level.

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Seventeen-year-old Denise “Deni” Dedmon has always been interested in words and speaking her mind. When it comes to her writing, she loves to write about everything, from entertainment (she’s an avid Kehlani fan) to book reviews (she’s been reading since the age of one) to controversial topics and current events (ya know, your average angry black girl things). Being the oldest of five girls, she is also passionate about young black girls, their self-esteem, and making sure that they’re proud of being who they are. She plans to study journalism at Howard University in the fall.

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