Real Experiences for BHM 2016: Role Models

Today I want to talk about role models. Lots of little girls want to be like Beyonce or Kim K., people with impossible attributes, who don't even know they exist, but there are always great role models within our communities. For me some of those girls (I'd be posting forever if I named them all) were GeFranya Matrulia Graham, Shakira Brockington, and Faith Smith-Wilson. I remember GeFran telling me what it was like to be in high school, helping me with my homework, and grounding me with the knowledge that one fateful day, I would get a B, maybe even a C, but that wouldn't make me less smart; it just meant I'd have to study harder. Shakira, who I'd eventually be in band with, inspired me to work harder and to not give up on music. I remember being so excited when she was on homecoming court (it wasn't often you saw a Black person on homecoming court and a fellow band geek at that!). Faith, my older cousin, let us sit with her and her friends on the bus, despite the fact that we were lowly 6th graders and they were Juniors or Seniors in high school. She was almost like an older sister, filling us in on what the next few years would be like. It's no surprise to me that they're still out accomplishing wonderful things. These ladies all helped me grow, be confident, and appreciate myself. Even as teenagers, possibly without even knowing it, they were making an impact on the generation below them. Your little sisters, cousins, the girl down the road, they may not say it, but they look up to you. What you do, they will do, because while Mrs. Obama or Beyonce may seem impossibly cool, you are real and tangible--a blueprint to success. What has always made our community great is the passing of greatness from one generation to the next, and that can start even in your teens so #MakeItCount #BlackHistoryMonth2016 #TeensMakeADifferentToo #PassDownWhatYouKnow #BlackWomenEmpoweringBlackWomen

Photocredit: ShutterStock/Samuel Borges Photography

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