|From Mary Hoffman's book Amazing Grace|
"That nappy hair."
"That dark skin."
"That big nose."
"Those big lips."
If you are a black kid, you've probably heard hurtful words like these.
I remember being 10 years old. It was an odd time. I was still a kid, but I was in the double digit years for the first time. I was the plump, too-tall-to-be-10 kid. I loved reading and excelled in school, but I didn't feel like I really fit in. I wanted to be a Latina with dark, straight hair. Why a Latina? Well, I couldn't be white and didn't want to be white. Mind you, I didn't know any Latinos, but I was in Spanish club in about 3rd grade, and I had a Cabbage Patch doll that I thought was black due to her caramel-colored skin that matched mine...but when I popped in the CD-rom to register my doll, I found out she was a Latina. Welppp, that's what I wanted to be, too, because I wanted to experience what it would be like to not be black.
As I got older, I began to understand that God created me and that everything that He created in the first 6 days of Earth, He declared "good". I understood that God loves me so much, that He wants me to not have to be separated from Him. He took measures to ensure that I have an opportunity to experience and know Him and His love, abundance, hope, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. What a good God! I want my niece to understand these things now, in her younger years, so that she can spread God's story to others so that they, and she, might experience the same. And change the narrative to...
"That lovely tightly coiled hair. Look at bounce!"
"That beautiful mocha colored skin. Sweet!"
"That strong nose."
"Those delightful lips that only people from a rich continent and history of being survivors."