"My father raised me to always be aware of my roots and where we came from. I went to an African-American private school and was surrounded by positive images of black people in every facet of my life. When I went to public school, not only did the black positivity change but also the way people viewed my blackness. I was too light, my hair was too long, I had to be mixed. Why is my blackness only beautiful or sought after if it has white in it? Well my black is only black! My black is beautiful. My black is strong. My black doesn't settle!"
"My parents were very intentional bout celebrating blackness. I had Black barbies, we celebrated Kwanzaa, we read black books. I knew I was black in 4th grade when all the white kids got invited to a birthday party... and then there was me. As a plus size black woman I feel like I get hit twice with messages about how unpretty I am. I find comfort in knowing others find me pretty, regardless of how I may see myself. I see Beauty in Blackness all around me, sometimes it's just hard to see it in the mirror."
"I did not wake up and miraculously believer my blackness was beautiful. My beauty is an ongoing journey that I am still trying to convince myself of. I am a true product of my environment Growing up as a dark-skinned, nappy-haired girl in America, I had to find beauty within when surrounded by my peers. Family members and older men and women attempted to instill confidence in my regarding my appearance, but it was not enough to combat the damn-near daily oppression. I found beauty, constant beautyin my brains."
"I began to love my blackness after transitioning to natural hair. I was under the impression that I could only be beautiful with loose 3A curls. When my hair started to grow I was disappointed to see that it was not loose wavy curls. As time went on I grew to love tight coil curls for what they are. They embody my blackness."
"It wasn't until late in my college years that I realized that my Black experience was different from that of other Black women close to me. I never questioned my beauty. I didn't have to learn how to see myself as beautiful. Growing up I was told told that I am "Universally" pretty meaning that all people found my features to be attractive because of my racially ambiguous appearance. At the time I didn't realize that this was a way of separating me from other Black Women who looked "Blacker" than me. ALL Black is beautiful, every hue, shape and size. "
"So often I have heard "you're pretty for a black girl, smart for a black girl." It made me question what society's definition for what a black woman is strong, empowered, cultured, patient, misunderstood, but most of all, she is doubted. And despite it all, the black woman always comes out on top; a true queen. With this view of the black woman, I have 2 words: 'Crown Me'"
"Being a black woman in America sometimes makes me question my beauty. I look around and see the versatility between each woman, and then I remind myselfthat beauty has nothing to do with the next woman but only with myself. I've found no statement about beauty to be more true than 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.'"
"I wokeUp One day and declared that I would no longer hide my beauty in that dark allies of shame and unhappiness. I would no longer invent ways to cover my coils and lighten my sun-kissed skin. I would love myself unconditionally. I would love my curves my hair, my skin, my culture.... MY BLACKNESS.
And I DID!"