The Progressive - April 23, 2021
Black girls like Gianna and Ma’Khia are consistently impacted by the fallacy of Black girlhood—that we deserve to suffer because of the positions we put ourselves in. To resist oppressive forces, we need to cultivate spaces that allow Black girls to have agency over their identities and be free of violence.
... I recently attended this year’s Society for Research on Child Development Biennial Meeting and listened to a talk by Lauren Mims, Riana Elyse Anderson, and Fantasy Lozada. They spoke about the brilliance of Black children and families. One statement that uplifted my spirit was when Anderson asked, “What is it to be for them to be normally beautiful, of light, of color, and what are people trying to do to diminish this light?”
This light and the normality of childhood allows Black girls to fully be who they are. Gianna Floyd deserves all the accolades and gifts for being brilliant, but this light should have not come because of darkness—the death of her father. Ma’Khia Bryant deserved to live and enjoy Black girlhood, she was also brilliant and full of light.
Black girls need joy, Black girls need reparations, and we need spaces that center collective care and healing. Being with family allows us to be ourselves and provides us with comfort that is often taken away from many Black girls. ...
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