#BlackGirlHealing: “We Knew That Our Ancestors Would Guide Our Steps”
“Someday, we will be the ancestors – guiding the steps of those who have come after us,” says 21-year-old Hailey Darby. Inspired by her mother, the Houston, TX resident picked up the habit of walking to build her self-confidence and start a tradition of generational healing in her family. Hailey shared with BlackDoctor.org in her own words how three generations of Black women walking together helped reclaim their light, one step at a time.
My name is Hailey Darby and I am 21 years old. As I begin to write this, fear and self-doubt creep in. Slowly and untimely, they both loom in the back of my mind whispering, “Hailey, you are not talented enough to share your own story.” But this time I will not be silenced. Fear and self-doubt will not keep me in the dark.
At what point did fear and self-doubt become a part of my everyday life? Was it in the sixth grade when I told myself, “Hailey, this year, don’t talk! Your words and voice will be overpowered anyway. You might as well just stay quiet.” I was 12.
Was it in high school when I could not quite measure up to the other girls on the volleyball team because their parents could afford to pay for extra volleyball lessons? At what point did I become so comfortable with doubting my brilliant mind — my worthiness? What point did I become so fearful of what other people thought of me that I began hindering myself from reaching my full potential?
At what point did I start dimming my own light?
Often retreating to our grandmother’s house in southwest Louisiana, my twin sister, Jasmine and I were a part of GirlTrek’s #BlackGirlHealing movement before we even knew it. We’d spend hours walking and talking about any and everything. With each step healing one another through words of affirmation and sometimes through moments of silence filled with encouragement.
We shared our dreams and challenges under 100-year-old oak trees hoping that our ancestors who walked those same country roads were listening and would somehow help guide our steps. Who knew that our ancestors would guide our steps towards GirlTrek.