The Big Girl Chronicles: Black History Month Tribute
“Look at me. I am black. I am beautiful.” -Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator
It seems easy to lose sight of who you are in today’s world. We are surrounded with images that mirror another culture as beautiful. Black women have chemically straightened hair and added extensions and weaves to make other races more comfortable and accepting of us in the workplace and society as a whole. Although I applaud these efforts, only those images that we create of ourselves bear a more accurate representation of our beauty to the world. For the sake of not only our generation but generations to follow, we must continue to present images that reiterate our rich dynamic heritage and act as our own support system. And it all begins with you.
Beauty in the African American culture should be recognized as more than just outward appearance or physical characteristics. Yes, it is important to realize that our broad noses, thick lips, kinky coils and earth-toned pigment are all traits that make us uniquely beautiful on the outside, but it is equally important to emphasize the strength, resiliency and wisdom handed down through generations that tell of inner beauty. My grandmother doesn’t look like a model, but the wisdom and experience that she has to share make her beautiful in so many other ways. Make special time to spend with the matriarchs of your family and listen to the history they have to share about growing up and living during their time.
So as we continue to pay homage to our ancestors and their struggle that continues on today, let’s celebrate the beauty we possess that ultimately reflects in our actions and contribution to society, excluding the superficial and emphasizing those things that can only be measured in kindness and love.
*The thoughts expressed in this post were inspired by my interpretation of the quotation noted above. However, Mary McLeod Bethune should in no way be held responsible for the contents of this post.