With the current epidemic of missing colored girls in the D.C. area, I cannot help but to feel out of sorts. I'm not sure what hurts more: the fact that so many black and latino girls are fleeing their homes due to lack of love, care, and safekeeping or that no one gives a damn that THIS many girls are missing (regardless of how they became missing). Is it odd that literally overnight the issue has come to the forefront? YES.
WHERE IS THE COVERAGE? WHERE ARE THE PROTESTS? WHERE ARE THE SEARCH PARTIES?
As this issue comes to light and I see the lack of response that this nation has, I'm reminded of Malcom X's "Who Taught You To Hate Yourself". I come to realize what is FACT: the black woman is the most unprotected, disrespected and neglected in America. We go missing and no one cares. We are battered and told to remain silent. We go to war for our men and the reciprocation never sees the light of day. Despite the endless list of accolades and accomplishments of colored women, for hundreds of we have been the last worry of this nation.
Fast forward to 2017 and we are still in the same boat. It pushes me to this: LOVE YOURS. As women, we have to take accountability for our own. Woman to woman: protect, respect and care for. I challenge you to implement the following 3 ideas in your day to day:
Open Up- As a a friend and as a woman, I struggle with being emotional. Not to say that I am out of touch with my emotions but I am slow to reveal them to others. Instead of being myself in new situations, I constantly am on the defense with a wall built up. My pride won't allow me to be open immediately. This has caused my circle to dwindle as well as end potential connections before they even began. I encourage you to be yourself in hopes that your presence can allow another woman to feel safe or comfortable. *To my high school-ers and college women, let's do this more often as this can make a huge difference for our fellow women in a number of circumstances (parties, walking on campus, etc.)*
Keep An Eye- As closed off as I can be at times, I have always tried to make it a habit to keep an eye out for others. It may come off as nosy but I've never been in a situation where I came out saying "I had no idea what was going on or who was there". Being aware of your surroundings is huge and can sometimes warrant off danger.
Outreach- This one is inspired by my mother. Growing up, I thought it was so odd and annoying that she would just spark up conversation or compliment someone randomly. However as an adult, I realize it how important it is. Especially as a Black woman. & now i do it all of the time. Mostly, I compliment other women in hopes that they can identify with me. For instance, working in a male dominated field, oddly, makes it hard for women to unite or look out for one another. But opening the floor for conversation between women can change the playing field and elevate one another.
Let's do what we can to keep each other safe. Comment below & let me know different ways that you LOVE YOURS.