To every mother of a black girl, this is for you. It also serves as a reminder to myself to continue to nudge my daughter. While the country is focused on the horrible murders of black men, the failed American judicial system and the improper treatment of the first black President of the United States of America, we are still responsible for raising our girls. To do that with power, there are a few things we must consider to be non-negotiable.
First, we must teach our girls about their ancestry. Not only have them sit down with their grandparents and discuss the family history, but go beyond and find their roots. In this, they likely will take pride and be surprised at what royalty from which they extend. Be honest with them about how the world may view them and prove to your girls that populations of people feel negative toward them because, with the right tools, so many fear black girls are destined to be fierce. They are more than entertainers, but entrepreneurs, scientists, scholars and more.
Invest in their education. Find someone or some “thing”, like computer software or books, to teach them proper English, proper Spanish and the latest dialect of Arabic because they are going to need it all. Even if they take it in public school, follow it up and perfect it at home. Save for their education as aggressively as if they are going to Yale without a scholarship. Never let money be the reason they cannot go to an Ivy League college and finish. Prepare them to get accepted and send them. Don’t beg any man to be a part of their lives. If applicable, ask once and let it go. Get your girls the very best healthcare you know how and do it in a timely manner.
Refuse to let doctors make the final decision for their health and always consider surgery to be the last option for any disorder or disease. If they get a chance to travel, access the situation, accept the offer, send them or go with them. Allow them to see as much as they can and be there to explain and translate what they witness. Take them to church, pray with them and study the Bible with them at home as if it is the only thing that matters. Teach them suicide is never an option and make them promise you they will never take their own life. Make sure they understand that mental healthcare is just as important as physical healthcare and to not be ashamed to ask for help should they need it.
Remind them to be compassionate and bless others when they can but to take care of themselves first. Moms, as hard as it may be, we must learn to let go when the time comes. Don’t guilt your babies into staying at home as opposed to experiencing higher education and living their own lives. Listen to them while they talk. Laugh at their jokes and remind them of how beautiful they are on the inside and outside. Monitor their calls, emails and text messages and do everything you possibly can to keep them away from drugs and alcohol. Ask their teachers how they behave in school and who their close friends are in each class. Get political at times and remind them blacks fought and died for their right to vote but not for them to vote only Democrat or only Republican. The way they vote is their own call, not anyone else’s. Don’t just keep them out of the “system” but teach them to stay out of trouble as much as possible, yet to challenge things that are not fair. In other words, if they get in trouble, let it be because they stood for what is right. The law is not always on the side of black girls and being in jail or prison is not where they are destined to end up.
Teach them to never beg a man to love them as the outcome will not be what they dream it will be if they do so. Tell them if they cannot find a job, to create one as we all have the same power to build small and large businesses just as Bill Gates and Donald Trump. Remind them that while they may be afraid at times, believe every single one of God’s promises; don’t pick and choose, but believe it in its entirety and trust Him with every Iota of their being. Remind your daughters to smile and greet other black girls for they are their sisters. Teach them that their body is all they have and to be as careful with it as if it is the largest, most beautiful, most sought after, African diamond in the world.
Help them understand that friends may come and go but to choose each friend wisely. Stick closely to people who share the same basic foundations and beliefs yet be open to knowing those of all faiths and cultures. In the age of social media we attack people more so than ever before. Teach your girls to not be discouraged by cowards who send negative comments from behind their computer screens about them. If they are attacked with harsh words, teach them to fairly check themselves and if it applies, then work in changing that negative feature. If it does not apply, forget about it. Finally, tell them to make sure they do each and every thing here for their own little black girls one day so they can ultimately be the very best that God intended them to be regardless of the harsh world that encompasses them.