“What could happen in this world if it were full of confident, talented, brilliant, bold Black girls who were positioned and prepared to make an impact?” For the answer, the team behind The Beautiful Project (TBP) turned to Black women and the power of the pen.
After seeking submissions from Black women all over the world, The North Carolina-based collective, which uses art to help Black women and girls challenge negative media images and empower them to create their own, officially launched on their blog today their #DearBlackGirl letter writing campaign. The letters are as much inspiring, vulnerable and passionate as the campaign’s mission is critical.
It’s not enough to say or write #BlackGirlsMatter; it won’t be enough until every Black girls knows and BELIEVES beyond a shadow of doubt she matters. “Too often, Black girls encounter environments and relationships that are blemished by criticism, hatred, and disrespect that create insecurities, produce thick walls of isolation, shift their personalities and rearrange their perception of their own potential,” the creators wrote on the submissions guidelines page.
Serving as a bridge between past, present and future, the letters, written by Black women ages 18 and up, share memories, experiences, testimonies, dreams and commentary on what Black girlhood means. We’ve lived through it and the #DearBlackGirl movement honors that as Black women we have something of value that needs to shared and heard.
We have the power to speak life over Black girls and equip them with the tools to live unapologetically. It all starts with a letter.
Like everyone else, I didn’t come into this world with an instruction manual and like many women and girls I wish I had more guidance along the way. Below is my #DearBlackGirl love letter. Although the official submission deadline passed on October 7, 2015, this is one letter I encourage every Black woman to make the time to write and share in your own way.
Word is bond.