Recently, I watched a clip from when Janelle Monae was on The Queen Latifa Show. It was beautiful to see her surprise her biggest fan on the show. What affected me most was Janelle being overcome with emotion at the idea that “little black girls would want to look like me”. Are you kidding me? There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
My thoughts went to my daughter and who she looked up to and emulated as a child. My baby was a child of the ’90s/ ’00s and was a huge fan of Taina, Hillary Duff, Raven-Symoné and lots of other age-appropriate things. She wanted to be a Cheetah Girl and loved reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants..
But what about her personality? Her morals? What was/ is she presenting to the world? Where is she getting those things from? Oh shit! I should be her example for those things. I freaked out thinking back on all the times that I’m sure I got it all wrong; this whole mom thing. Deep breath…in through the nose, out through the mouth.
After I calmed down, I realized a few things. I did my best. I was a mom at 14 so I know I stumbled along the way but I had my grandmother, mom and aunts to help guide me. I was there. I made mistakes but I was there; volunteering at school, helping her through homework and heartbreak. I taught her to love her light-brown skin as part of the beautiful spectrum of little black girls.
My little black girl loves books…just like me.
When I asked friends and family who know us both they say that my little black girl is sweet, funny, articulate, kind, giving and gorgeous…just like me.
My little black girl (although she’s a woman now) likes Beyoncé, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott but regardless of all the other influences, she’s always wanted to be like…Mommy.