Life in a Letter Scholarship Entry- "Dear Little Brown Girl"

Dear Little Brown Girl, At a young age, I did not yet realize that I was unique, different, one-of-a kind.  I did not know the history of the country I was being born into.  I did not recognize that certain groups of people were alienated, or looked at differently, simply because of the color of their skin.  Most importantly, I did not know that I would be a victim of systematic oppression, simply because I am me.   I did not know that my ancestors were enslaved, or how hard the African Americans worked before me, just so my parents would be able to see me grow up, gain an education, or even have the right to choose where I want to sit on a bus.   Some would view these circumstances as a reason to quit, but Iittle brown girl you are strong.  You are created with the finest black magic, and you will rise, just as those who have come before you.  It saddens me when people are too shallow to look past my race, and do not recognize my beauty within, or pure humanity. And still, she persists.      I am hurt when I am told to be myself, but when I express gratitude for what we have overcome as a race, I am torn down.  But still, she persists.  I am told to be proud of my background, because it defines me, but when I express pride in my cultural background, I am beaten down and reduced to nothing. Yet still, she persists.   When pondering what is worse than still having to fight for basic human rights, is when people do not understand that minorities are the victims of oppression.  By telling me, not to express  joy and pride in my background, is to oppress me.  By telling me that I am inferior, and belittling my culture is to oppress me.  By telling me, that my black life does not matter, is to oppress me.  And still I persist. I speak out against injustice in America, because I deserve a voice to express pride in my background.  Little brown girl, I speak up because  it is important to know that you are beautiful. From the richness of your coca skin to, every kink and coil on your head.  Most importantly, I matter, you matter, we matter.  Sincerely,Jailen M Edwards  

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