This is a love letter to the Black women I want to make proud. To my late mother and grandmothers, Valencia, Adepeju and Carolyn. To my little sisters, my [blood and play] aunties, cousins, nieces, line sisters, mentors, and friends. And to the Black women we all admire and feel like we know. Like Michelle, Oprah, Phylicia, Serena, and Cicely. Despite coming up in a society that too often downplays, denies, or repackages the beauty of being us, I’ve never wanted to be anything other than a Black woman.

We make the mundane magical and the routine rhythmic. Black women are worthy, period. Fiery and feminine. Valuable and versatile. Inventive, originally out of necessity but now, we’re just showing off. Black women are known for being the strong, resilient, persistent backbones of families and societies but that’s not all we are. And I look forward to the day where we don’t have to be…at least not more so than anybody else.

My wish is that Black women be celebrated for our softness without being sexualized. For our intelligence without being tokenized. For our beauty without being appropriated. And across all our hair textures and skin tones without being compared and contrasted.

I want Black women to be pampered and taken care of without being labeled materialistic or gold diggers. To command respect without having to demand it. To know love without trauma. To be regarded as experts in every field. And to live freely and fabulously outside of any stereotypes or tropes. To be synonymous with cleverness and brilliance and excellence.

For every “bossy” little Black girl who grew up to be an “intimidating” Black woman. For the matriarchs on whose shoulders we stand and for the young girls we are raising to break every mold. Be passionate and unapologetically yourself. You are only too much for people who aren’t enough. Go after what you desire and deserve. I am always rooting for you.

As always, thanks for reading.

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