Dear Baby Girl,
I want to start off by telling you that you are excellent. I know this because you are a child of God. God does not take the time to create things, or people, that are meant to be mediocre. If you weren’t meant to achieve you wouldn’t be here.
You must be aware of who you come from. For generations people have been trying to put you down. When your ancestors were slaves, they were kept from having basic human rights. Yet, somehow after decades of injustice and hardships, they made it to freedom. When your grandparents were growing up they were given the worst books and facilities to learn in. However, in their lifetime they made it with college educations and five figure salaries. This, beloved, is the kind of excellence that courses through your veins by the grace of God.
Now that you know how incredible you are, you must be on the lookout for those trying to tell you that you are anything less. These voices may come from those who appear to be the oppressor. Though it may be more covert than blatantly spitting in your face, they will try to tarnish your excellence. Beware of backhanded compliments or people “just looking out for you”. Saying “you’re talented for a Black girl” is nothing close to a compliment. You are talented. Period. “Oh, I don’t think you should shoot too high or get your hopes up” is not a word of advice. Shoot over the mountain tops. Look on situations with the highest of hopes.
Knowing what the oppressor looks and sounds like may not be the hard part. Keeping your head up when your peers try to take you down may be the biggest challenge there is. Whether they mean any malice or harm can be up for interpretation. Just know that these souls are lost. They long to walk in their purpose as you do. You intimidate them. With all the love you can, help them find their own purpose. Motivate them to succeed both leading by example and lending a helping hand.
Unfortunately, dear heart, this will not always be well received. You may come off as belittling or talking down to someone. Know that you are not responsible for how your kindness gets misconstrued. As long as you’re coming from a place of love there will likely be someone trying to tear you down with hate.
With all this being considered, walk with your head held high. Treat others with the utmost respect and kindness, whether they deserve it or not. You know as well as I do that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Your excellence will be the fuel that pushes the next generation and your light will out shine the darkest of days.
Lisa K. Satchell
Author's note: I wrote this for a writing class and it felt good enough to share. You know by the title that it's intended for my future daughter, but I feel like this is something we could all benefit from hearing. I hope you all got something from it!