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Black Girl Pain: A Letter From The Editor

Photo via @amaralanegraaln IG

Dear America,

Your assault on black women is maddening. From the time we are little girls we are conditioned to hide who we are to be accepted into spaces that actively work to exclude us. When I was a little girl I took rhythmic gymnastics from around ages seven to eleven. As a part of gymnastics conditioning our whole team also had to take ballet. I remember this white ballet teacher who may have been 80 pounds soaking wet telling us to tuck our butts and how we needed to eat salad to be thin. Let me paint the picture of the team. We were about 10 years old, 5 feet tall and 100 lbs of solid muscle. I wanted to tell that lady that instead of us eating salad she should take her ass to Ponderosa ’cause she looked like Skeletor’s decrepit momma. It was the ’80’s so I held my tongue because my mother told me “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” A couple years later in the 90’s my confidence took another shot when my 6th grade history teacher accused me of plagiarizing a paper because I used the word demise. He called me up to his desk and accused me, I defined the word and he backed down. My stress level was raised by a teacher with pit stains the size of Texas. By the time the early 2000’s rolled around no matter what company I worked for I saw a disturbing pattern. Black women who were more qualified with more experience in lower level positions than their white or male counterparts and if they were in a parallel position, they were doing two and three times the work. Fast forward to present day and black women reporters are being openly disrespected by the person holding the highest office in the land in front of colleagues that should call out the bullying behavior swiftly and directly. I had the privilege of growing up in a predominantly black neighborhood in the city of Detroit full of teachers, nurses, fireman and factory workers. They worked hard and some even developed streams of revenue on the side. I was taught to be proud of who I am and to treat others as I want to be treated. As for the kids on the block, we talked and played together, laughed and sometimes fought each other. But, if a bully came on the block, best believe all 20 of us are whoopin’ that ass. Black women cry too. The hurdles black women jump are fit for Gail Devers. America, just stop.

Sincerely,

A fed up black woman working on her self-care routine.

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#Detroit #AmaraLaNegra #BlackMedia #BlackJournalism #Texas #Community #hurdles #Teachers #BlackGirl #Privilege #GailDevers

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