“Black is beautiful, black women are intelligent, Black women are strong, Black women deserve to be valued, Black women deserve to be taken care of, and Black women are beautifully and wonderfully made.”
Amid the current national climate and recognition of the lack of equality given to blacks in America, I have pondered about the many racial injustices and events that I have undergone. As a black woman who grew up in American, have in one time or another felt that they were not beautiful, due to their skin tone. Beauty in America has always been portrayed as the white or fair tone, with long silky hair and small facial features, which is quite the opposite of how most blacks look. I remember watching Disney growing up, and every princess, every queen every fairy tale was always displayed as the beautiful white girl, with long silky hair, and light-colored eyes. I never saw an image that reflected me not in the beloved Disney movies, cartoons, or even the commercials. Most black women have the same story which is no surprise, as the late Malcolm X said “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” As many educated black women grow and mature, they develop a sense of confidence, a sense of dignity, spiritually, mentally, and physically as I did. I thought that once I overcame how the world viewed me and how the world defined beauty. I believed that once I conquered, I would never have to encounter those same feelings of inadequacy or battle those devils.
The day I realized that I was not done with this particular psychological battle that I believed I had overcome was the day that my 4-year-old daughter told me that she wanted a white Barbie because black Barbie’s are not beautiful, black in itself is not attractive. Little did I know that I would have to fight that “devil” over and over again, depending on how many daughters I have. I not only have to relive those feelings again; I am forced to have to watch my daughters relive those feelings. This time it is so much worse, I have to facilitate an environment that continually empowers her, I have to shield her from particular beliefs, specific images. If you think that is an impossible task, it is. Majority of the images that she has encountered in the four years of her life, and continues to meet are images that look nothing like her. I started buying all black books for black kids and specifically black girls; I started doing nightly affirmations before we prayed. I know that there is no way that I can shield her from those images. I got a nanny and have temporarily taken her out of her majority-white private preschool. I invested a black nanny, to empower her, relate to her, and give culturally appropriate care. She is thriving currently, and no longer holds those views of her complexion, or of black in and of itself. The timing was perfect since most are self-quarantined during COVID-19; she has been sheltered around her family, nanny, which is all black.
I know she is doing well now, but those feelings will remerge, again when she goes back to school, and again she is in middle school, and when she becomes a teenager. I know that I will have to help her battle this again and again, and I plan to conquer that every single time.
The story I outlined above explains why it is so essential to establish a black-owned business that represents us, that enrich our communities, and that uplift black families. High Table Only is a premier dating application for blacks in the diaspora that helps likeminded individuals to meet, date, connect, and maybe marry. When we build healthy Black marriages, we, in turn, help build a solid foundation of Black families, and as a result, diligent black individuals.
Also, it is the reason why Afrinanny is so essential, the story of my black daughter, black women who have shared experiences, emphasizes why having a culturally appropriate nanny service. One particular thing that has affected black women since before the Civil War was the burden of carrying a household, whether it be financially, emotionally, or physically they have borne this burden for decades. Afrinanny specifically helps black women carry the weight of supporting their household in various ways.
Dr. Chika Ndukwe DNP, FNP-C, is a post-doc psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner student and Co-founder of High Table Only, premium online dating site for Black Singles around the Diaspora. Visit www.myhtonly.com to learn more about her company and mission to create more healthy Black marriages around the world.