My heart aches for our girls on a daily basis. In the past month, we have heard of two major beatings with deadly consequences. The first was the untimely death of 16-year-old Wilmington teenager Amy Joyner-Francis, and the second was the sad death of 17-year-old Brooklyn teenager Ta’Jae Warner. No matter what the circumstances were that led up to these fights, I know one thing. It was not worth it. Two young ladies are dead, and many others are facing time in prison.
We have to come to place where our girls understand that fighting is not worth it. They need to learn to love themselves enough to walk away. A split-second decision can have life-changing consequences. We need our girls to understand their value…their true worth. A boy isn’t worth it. An Instagram post isn’t worth it. A side eye…a look (or lack thereof)…shade. None of it is worth it.
How can we get our girls to understand that it’s not worth it? By truly developing and building their self-worth and self-confidence…their true self. For the past few years, the country has focused on the boys and building them up. President Obama even launched the initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Yet, I feel that our girls have been left behind. Not as many people seem to be concerned about their outcomes because, oftentimes, their issues are shadowed by their male peers, but I hope the tables are turning. In March, the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls was announced, and it is supposed to focus on the barriers faced by Black women and girls. However, it may be years before we see the impact of that caucus.
Therefore, we must take it upon ourselves to rebuild our community and our girls. This goes beyond each one, teach one. Why not teach two or three so that no girl is left behind? I know that I can’t do it by myself, but I can do it with a legion of motivators, galvanizers, conquerors, leaders, and builders. Together, we can build their self-worth, and our girls will be able to discover their true selves.