When I was about 8 or 9, we stayed in this hotel right off of I-270 called “In-Town Suites.” We stayed here temporarily until we moved into our house on the west side, and back then, I thought it was the coolest thing. Now at this time, it was my mama, my daddy, my brother, and I. The room was small, and the privacy was nonexistent. I made a couple of friends in the hotel, and I enjoyed being able to run around the facility with them, finding things to do.
We were playing tag on the 1st floor of the hotel, one day in particular. I was the only little black girl in the group so I stuck out like a sore thumb. One of the girls that was playing with us ran past me, and pulled the fire alarm. I guess she thought it was funny. All of the occupants of the hotel ran outside to the parking lot, and I met up with my family out there.
My heart was beating fast because, even though I didn’t do it, I knew who did. I saw all of the chaos and worry that it caused, and I felt like I was in some deep trouble. Apparently the girl that pulled it (A white girl named Amy), told everyone that I pulled it. And guess what y’all?! Because I was the only black girl in the group, they believed her.
That was my first experience of racism.
I stopped hanging out with them and spent more time to myself. One day, my daddy gave me $2, and I was able to go to the vending machine down the hall. That was always a nice little treat for me. My daddy would get paid on Thursdays, so I would always look forward to that on those days. Well, all of that came to an end when I was returning back to our room one day, and one of the guys in the hotel tried to lure me into a stairwell with him using a soccer ball. I refused to go because my mama always told me to watch out for things like that. Backing away, I saw him pull his penis out, and I ran. At that age, I didn’t know much about a penis, but I knew that I didn’t have one, and that it wasn’t ok for me to see one. When I got back to the room, I told my mama, and that was the end of me running around. Period.
This was one of the first times I experienced some type of attempted sexual assault.
In my previous blog, I was asked about the advice that I would give to a little girl growing up in this world, and it really got me thinking. Thinking about all that I’ve been through and all that I have faced. I thought about the things that I encountered, and which of those things I had control over.
So, I want to elaborate on this topic a little bit more because it is necessary.
Dear little black girl,
In this world, you will grow up to realize that the it can be cruel and mean. Especially to you, little black girl. You are going to be called names, you will get your heart broken, and you will lose friends. You will fail at something at some point, and you will be the butt end of many jokes. Your choice of hairstyle will be the topic in many corporate settings when you are not around. Your curves, hips, and lips will intimidate those who have none. Oh! And if you decide to become highly educated, there will be roadblocks. Your ideas will only be valuable if they are coming from the mouths of insensitive ass men whose egos are much larger than their supposed manhood.
Little black girl, you are going to laugh so hard. You are also going to cry yourself to sleep. You will wonder what you can do to change the events in your life, and you will pray so hard that goosebumps will begin to form on the surface of your brown skin. You will question who you are (more times than you can count). The tresses of the women around you will have you considering the purchase of that creamy crack down at Hollywood Beauty. You will fight, both physically, and mentally. Some of these battles, you will win, and others you will lose.
Little black girl, you will be tested. Men three times your age will attempt to make passes at you. You will be introduced to “rape culture,” in which you are subjected to the possibility of being raped or molested. You will feel that you have no voice, and your emotions will sometimes get the best of you. Baby girl, you will have flaws, and weaknesses. You will fall in love with a man who loves every bit of you, down to the stretch marks that will eventually form on your hips, bosoms, and backside. But you won’t be able to see why. Your confidence will constantly fluctuate, in which you will be on top of the world some days, and others, you will refuse to get out of bed.
Little black girl, it will be hard. You were given the identity of being black, and being female before you even realized who you were. But guess what? You will be an amazing individual. You will make others comfortable by showing your confidence. The same confidence that will take you years to develop! Your smile will be contagious, and light up a stadium. You will do things that people just don’t understand, and it will be beautiful. You will meet people who look up to you, and you will encourage them to make changes in their own lives. You will make boss moves, and give Cardi B. a run for her money.
Little black girl, you will live life. You will learn so much, and you will share it with all that need to hear. Do not let the negativity of the world bring you down, for I have already forewarned you of the things you will face. Little black girl, hold your head high, smile, and live each day one day at a time. Do not live in your mistakes or bad decisions. Choose how you want your life to be, and go for it. You will grow into a queen, little black girl, so never settle, and always keep God first!
One last thing, my little black queen.
When you become a big black woman, share your knowledge with another little black girl.