Start: Monday, May 18, 2015•12:00 AM
I want to tell all the Black women in my life, my mother, sisters, aunts and friends that I love you. You are all phenomenal people who have given me more than I can articulate. Despite what the world may tell you, despite the constant messaging that you are ugly or worthless or less than: you are beautiful and powerful beyond measure.
The more I am blessed with the presence of such intelligent, wise, creative, and wonderful Black Women, the more I realize how right my friend and gifted organizer Omolara Williams was right when she said that “Black Women are magic.” Those of us used to dwelling in the darkness of our own insecurity often cannot admit your beauty, because for us your radiance is near blinding.
So I ask all of you to join me in celebrating Black women. Let us overwhelm the negative messaging that our mothers and neighbors and teachers and congresswomen hear every day. Let us tell the world that we love Black Women. Let us love them so hard that the bullets cannot reach them. Let us love them so hard that their would-be assailants cannot find them. Let us love them so hard that their accomplishments may never be forgotten. Let us love them so hard that we can learn from their strength and grace and wisdom and be confident enough to see them for who they really are: shinning stars in a world too full of darkness. Tell the world #ILoveBlackWomen and give a lagniappe to the Black women in your life.
A lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/ lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a free 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure."
Lagniappe is also the word I use for random [often odd or complex] DIY gifts I give people on non-holidays. It is a gift from the heart that shows the Black women in your life how much they mean to you. So join me in celebrating the contributions of Black women in our lives by doing the following:
1. During the week of May 18th, give random gifts to the Black Women you care about. It can be a hug, a coupon, a smile, a book or diamond ring. You can take a your co-worker out to lunch, buy your manager some flowers, drive your neighbor to church or take your line-sisters out to the movies. Do something to show the Black Women in your life that their lives not only matter but are precious. Make sure that you name not only your love for them but also how you recognize, uplift and cherish their Blackness as well.
2. Share your love of Black Women with the World! Take picture of your delivering your lagniappe or DIY gift to the Black Women in your life, or picture of you holding a sign saying #ILoveBlackWomen and share it on social media with the hashtag #ILoveBlackWomen.
3. Turn your love into Praxis. Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized.
Donate to organization led by and/or serving Black Women, Black Trans* Women and Girls.
Continuously fight to end that systems of oppression that limit the human potential of Black Women, Black Trans* Women and Girls
Constantly support the Black Women in your lives by telling them how important they are to you on a regular basis.
Support Black Women in Leadership
Consume Media by Black Women
Read About the Accomplishments of Black Women