Teaching Black Girls to Be Beautiful

Black Girls Allowed

One of the songs I love so much by the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown, is “Say It Loud, I’m Black And I’m Proud!” That song needs a major resurgence today, especially for young Black girls who are besieged with negative messages about all aspects of their Blackness.


The year 2013 began and will end with the same prejudices that James Brown addressed in 1968. For Black women, that means still being viewed as the antithesis of beauty based on the European standard that excludes Black hair and dark skin. The media has played a major role in bombarding young Black girls with negative images of Blackness while reinforcing the notion that White—and, by association, light— is truly right.

Stereotypical portrayals of Black women as overly sexualized or subservient, destitute women are pervasive on television, movie screens, and music videos, as well as most “general market\” magazine covers, where…

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