The Gift Black Student Organizations on Campus Gives Young Black Women...
" I consider myself a crayon, I might not be your favorite color but one day you are going to need me to complete your picture" - Lauryn Hill
Middle school I was told that I was to dark and that stuck with me. I'm to dark and if I am to dark I must be to ugly, to loud, to rebellious. These assumptions/ stereotypes started to get forced in my head and to be honest I was either to black or not black enough.
Or I was..to skinny
My hair was to nappy
My lips were to big
my arms and legs looked like "burnt sticks".
And It became okay to mimic my so called "animal language"
I remember that joke like it was yesterday.
I was not respected by guys my age because I was the one with the "animal culture and language".
More and more I became inferior, and more and more I hated how I looked. Being black was ugly. Being a black women was ugly. I was ugly. At least that's what I thought...
I transferred to CSUF and immediately was introduced to a small but courageous community filled with confident, vibrant young black students. It was through the African American resource Center, Black Student Union and several other Black Organizations that I became fascinated with this new concept I had learned called #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackIsBeautiful.
I was intrigued because each black student, man and women were comfortable in their own skin. The black male students honored the black women. Events like " Why I love Black Women" and " Thrones" gave men a chance to escort and show their appreciation for the ladies and vice versa. I had never experienced that in my life.
Although I still struggled with feeling intimidated, I went from totally denying the fact that I was beautiful, to considering the idea, to finally, fully standing by the statement that there is power in the dark rich black skin of a man and women, especially in this generation. That my natural hair is not something to be ashamed of but to flaunt and embrace. My "big" lips is nothing to hide because through them is a voice that is ready to advocate for others. I became proud of the fact that my skin set me apart from all other ethnicities in a profound way. Last but not least, my family comes from Nigeria; The Motherland. In which has a beautiful culture and language that I am proud beyond explanation to be connected to.
The Black organizations on campus and the community it developed gave me a gift; permission to love the skin that I am in.
The community of thriving young black college students gave me permission to see myself as beautiful AND successful.
Yes, those two words can go hand in hand when describing women of color.
Yes, community and representation goes a long way in growing positive body image, courage, and confidence for young women like myself.