Black Girls Rule!

The Future Looks Bright For Young Women Of Color

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Two images came across my computer screen this weekend that stayed with me throughout its duration. One was the latest video from Willow Smith entitled, “21st Century Girl”. The other was a video from a group of young ladies who call themselves “Watoto From The Nile” and who have written a response song to Little Wayne, addressing his derogatory lyrics against women. Both images subvert the image of Black women as angry, unhappy, overtly sexual beings that have dominated mass media for about the last decade.

My heart swells with joy from this small, but steadily growing change because it means change on a greater level within the Black community. First, if young Black girls are seeing themselves empowered and positive then they will undoubtedly expect others to see the same and thus, treat them with respect. They are less likely to accept that they are just breasts and butts, but expect men to see them in their entirety. As such, young Black men will also change in a positive way, and not have just one negative image about the girls around them. What this could mean in the distant future is a strengthening of the Black family unit.

Also, these images will lay a path for a new, more diverse selection of images of Black women in mass media. Little girls and teenagers going through the various stages of development won’t feel as awkward when a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes comes across their television screens, and all are considered beautiful. Further, our little girls won’t feel pressured to hide who they are under weaves and heavy make-up, but rather celebrate the diversity in their skin tones hair textures, and styles.

The future is looking bright for young women of color, and I’m eagerly anticipating what else they will bring to the table.

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