Kendria Harris is a Chicago-based spoken word artist who goes by the name of K-love the poet; she is a woman of color seeking to motivate and spread love, self-affirmation, and acceptance. She’s all about encouraging individuals of all ages and colors to know self-love; to appreciate the way that they were created and to have positive self-esteem, regardless of who they are.
Kendria held a workshop on Feb. 15 at a college in the suburbs of Chicago, and with it, she brought the love she claims is enough to create a sense of unity and self-acceptance. During her presentation, she spoke of her personal experiences in the black community; she gave her audience a taste of what it means to be a POC and why that inspired her to become who she is today as well as to create and accomplish what she has.
To begin, she educated the audience on many of the issues in black history as well as many of the issues that continually take place within the black community even today; she brought up and touched on several ideas such as colorism, the Willie Lynch letter, colorstruck, the brown paper bag test and melanin.
In her own lifetime, Kendria has been able to learn a lot about herself through her mother, and she shared a story which took place during her mother’s childhood. As a young girl, her mother was a beautiful dark-skinned child, but unfortunately, she was raised and taught to hate her skin due to its dark shade. Because of this, her grandmother bathed her in bleach and told her she should scrub her knees and elbows in order to get rid of the dark; she was forced to practice self-hatred even as a young girl, and that has caused her to struggle with self-love for the entirety of her life — Kendria claimed that, even today, she is teaching her mother what it means to love herself.
“If we can change how we feel about ourselves, then we can change how we feel about others,”
Kendria was born to her mother as a sort of salvation; she claims within her poem titled Million Dollar Melanin that “they called my momma a tar baby, but I’m that star, star baby — the morning star, maybe.” Her great-grandmother promoted colorism and was indeed colorstruck — she discriminated against her own skin color, and she could see nothing wrong with what she was doing. Kendria’s mother has always been unable to care for herself the way she should; she was taught at such a young age that some shades of black are too black. As a result, she relied on her baby girl, Kendria, to be a light and shine within the black community where she could not.
“If we can change how we feel about ourselves, then we can change how we feel about others,” Kendria proclaimed during her workshop — during her motivational invitation to encourage self-love. There is so much hatred and pain and sorrow and discrimination within the black community, and it is simply due to the fact that individuals have not learned how to attain that self-love; they have not yet understood what it looks like to step into the world each day as the shining stars that they were created to be. Kendria explained that she was lucky enough to be born with that innate sense of appreciation for herself and the way that she looks; she has never thought of her dark skin color as wrong or ugly or unaccepted, but as beautiful and perfect just the way that it is.
Additionally, she started a group called the Princess Program, and in which, she encourages young girls and students to care for themselves through self-esteem building; she continually proclaims their self-worth and showers them with love, teaching them that there is a world full of hate and disgust, but what ultimately matters is how we view ourselves. She teaches the kids she mentors a chant called “I love myself,” encouraging young girls to view themselves with respect and to be proud of their skin color; every single individual is beautiful, because God created them that way. During her poem, Million Dollar Melanin, Kendria shares her perspective on empowering the black skin color, claiming that “God made us black; that’s all the colors of the spectrum,” she goes on to praise POC, “last time I checked, every color goes with black.”
Kendria is all about black pride; she is spreading love where love is needed, giving the encouragement to individuals of all ages that self-love is so crucial to thriving in this life. Every single being needs to understand and have a sense of their own self-worth — because they are worth it. No progress will be had in this world and its communities without the ability to see oneself as beautiful and worthy of honor and respect; world peace and love stems from personal love and acceptance, and Kendria made this prominent during her spoken word presentation.
This beautiful, dark-skinned poet is doing great things within the lives of many individuals, producing positivity and self-acceptance simply through loving others, and if you need a little encouragement or a reminder that you are enough, I would highly suggest checking out her YouTube channel or Twitter account or — if you live in the area — finding an opportunity to go and participate in one of her workshops.