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"Positive Images For Black Girls"

Today I want to talk about the self esteem of our children. We live in the age of technology, fashion, iPhones, selfies etc., image is everything. Our children grow up watching television and while this is occurring, they begin to form their own image of what they believe to be beautiful. My focus today is strictly on young black girls. Young black girls of today are even more self conscience of their appearance. Back in the sixties, black doctors Kenneth and Mamie Clark, used dolls to conduct a study group involving black girls ranging in ages 4 to 12 years old. The doctors placed two baby dolls one white, and one black on a coach. He then called the girls into the room one by one. The girls were individually asked which doll was the good doll. Immediately they each selected the white doll versus the black doll. The girls were then asked which of the black or white dolls were the prettiest. Again, the black girls immediately chose the white doll, over the black doll. In 2005, Kiri Davis, a black filmmaker conducted a updated doll study test and had similar results. Why do you think this is so? Why is it that so many of our young female babies don't see themselves as beautiful? Image is a very powerful thing. The media, commercials, videos and religion may influence a person's self concept positively, or negatively. Unfortunately some of our children really don't see or have positive self images.

I don't mean to offend anyone with what I'm about to say but even religion can be a factor that impact our young people's self image. Often our young children will go to church and while listening to the preacher teach about the gospel of Jesus, they see pictures or statues of a white Jesus on display in the church. They then mentally picture Jesus as being white. Now I can speak from experience although I am a black male, I myself went through the wonderment of seeing Jesus portrayed as being white, and not seeing a image of a man like myself. That is until one Sunday morning when I was about six years old my grandmother took me to Sunday school. We kids were playing around prior to Sunday school starting, when we all stopped suddenly in our tracks, as we came upon the statute of Jesus. We couldn't believe what we were witnessing. This very same statue of a white Jesus on display in our church for many years was now black! Someone had painted him black! A church elder came upon us looking bewildered, and said " what is wrong with ya'll?" He asked in a deep heavy voice. "Ya'll look as if you'd seen a ghost! That's when my cousin Guisee asked, "why is the statue of Jesus black?" The elder looking down at us had a very intense look, I mean you could hear a pin drop as we waited for an answer to this most critical question. Then in a very humble all knowing tone he simply said "because he is black, now ya'll come on from back there and stop playing."

That day changed my life because from that day forward I knew that Jesus was black like me. The Son of God was black like me, all my friends, family, and community. I felt proud to be who I was, a dark skinned young black boy whose God is black like me. Jesus was and always will be a positive "Godly male image." Again, I mean no disrespect towards anyone or race. But I cannot stress to the fathers and mothers out there about the importance of self image for both males and females. My focus today is about black girls needing a positive female image in their quest to become strong black women. I will end on this note.

Dear mother, sister, cousin, aunt, movie star, popular singers, community activist etc. I hope you realize that the young ladies and young girls are watching you. Therefore, you are a role model whether you like it or not. Let's teach our children to be proud of who they are, by first being proud of who we are by living our lives with a positive self image, and atone for our mistakes in our quest to define ourselves. Let's encourage and teach our children to be proud of themselves by living our lives with a positive self image ourselves. We must define who we are! We can't afford to let others define us, and this is very important when it comes to our children. Teach the young black girls the value of self respect. However, in order for young ladies, especially children between the ages of five through thirteen to have respect they need to feel beautiful inside and out, intelligent, and good. A positive self esteem is key and paramount in the growth and development of the future of our world.


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