Part 1: Love Letters To All the Black Girls I Grew Up With

**I am doing a week long meditative series where everyday I will write short-short stories/poems/memories of all the black girls I grew up with. This is part love story, part annunciation and part meditative practice. Enjoy!

PART 1: Longing and Pain

Dedication

Black girl factory: no two the same.

Fat black girls with strong thighs and thick heels. Mixed, black girls with uncertain smiles and kinky hair. Green-haired black girls with glittery overalls and artistic souls. Athletic black girls with Adidas slides and a smirk. Dark, shining, dark skinned girls, glasses-clad bookworm girls, hand on hip, “look at me” girls, “i don’t like to be touched- get over it” girls. Blackity black black black black girls in every shape, size and curl pattern under the sun. Black girl, we love you. Black girl, I love you.

This is my love letter to all the black girls I knew growing up, and it’s already too short.

Profile 1: The First aka My First Kiss Went a Little Like This

Wet mouth black girl- thank you for kissing me underneath the jungle gym when we were young. Thank you for being unafraid to kiss me with hunger, with seeing, with adventure in your eyes. Though I can’t remember much about you, I remember all the important things. I remember the wonderland we created underneath the jungle gym; a world where holes of light splattered across our face and hands like paint on a canvas as students thundered back and forth over our heads. I remember the smell of the damp mulch crunching underneath us, creating geometrical imprints on our hands, backs and butts. I remember your overalls and your sleek, black pigtails hanging down at your sides. I remember laughing and clinging to each other like we had a glorious secret to tell the world. Thank you for being my first kiss- the one I only shared with my thoughts and fantasies for so long. 

I hope you’re okay wherever you are and I hope you’re queer and proud, and I hope your hair is so strong and thick that it wraps around you at night and cradles you like you’re the most precious thing in the world.

Profile 2: A Reading From the Tough Black Girl

Tough Black girl, we got caught in a black girl fight over something that no longer matters in the 4th grade. The white kids stood around to watch, no doubt dreaming of the sassy black girls from their favorite television shows (All That, Family Matters, Amanda Show?), and we went after each other with words, sparring like grown women in the ring.

Black Girl Me: Well….well….you need plastic surgery! (Everyone’s eyes watching, I realize how weak it is when I say it, the only thing burning is my eyes).

Black Girl Opponent: And you need some concealer because I can see a few dry spots on your face.

Black Girl Burning. Black Girl Burn.

And the crowd standing around us goes wild, some laughing with big, unapologetic mouths; others stifling giggles behind their cupped hands. I stand, vanquished, scrambling for words:

What’s concealer?

Recess ends, but we never fully do. I hate you the rest of that year- gut deep- using all the words in my journal that I can think of to erase you: Ghetto Black Girl, Dark Black Girl, Hated Black Girl, Stereotype Black Girl, and even as I write each harmful word….I long to be your friend. I imagine another world in which we could have been friends- black girls in a mostly white school holding each other up, you giving me tips on how to give better comebacks, me reading Junie B Jones with my head in your lap, giggling about how silly we once we were-

how sweet.

**

Tune in tomorrow for PART 2!

 

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