The #BlackLivesMatter team created this letter for Shakara and Niya. You can sign below.
Dear Shakara and Niya,
We love you. Dearly. Fiercely. Passionately. Without apologies or compromise. You are beautiful young women with bright futures, and we are here to affirm your right to live in peace and dignity.
You are descendants of Black women and girls who, for centuries, survived in a world designed to cause harm and pain whenever and wherever possible. Despite the mounting obstacles they have faced, they overcame with fearless resiliency. This is your legacy and their Black magic runs through your veins. You are part of an enduring cultural fabric of Black Womanhood — an embodiment that thrives on everlasting bonds between our ancestors, our friends and family, and those who will soon come.
You are a precious gem and you deserve to be cared for with love and compassion. You deserve safety at home, on the streets, and in school. You have the right to learn and grow in environments that will support you; in schools with teachers and administrators that will protect and nurture you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
We are sorry that violence and brutal force are often used against you. We do not condone any form of violence, and particularly condemn adults who harm children. Such violence is the product of centuries of generational violence carried out against Black women and girls. Unfortunately, this violence is common and Black youth are particularly at risk. Black girls in schools like yours all over the country are criminalized, suspended unfairly, and are introduced to the system for the most minor of infractions. This is unacceptable!
But we’re here for you. We’re here to tell you that you matter.
That’s why we fight, protest, petition, and demand that school administrators, faith leaders, politicians, and other people in positions of power ensure the protection we say #BLACKLIVESMATTER, you are included in this affirmation.
We love you. We are here to fight for you. This stops now and we’re coming. This current movement is for you. Niya, please continue to speak up and out! Continue to stand when others don’t. You did what others were too afraid to do. The great poet Audre Lorde wrote: “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” Thank you for speaking – we need to hear your voice. You are the difference! Remember that anytime someone tries to silence you.
To every black girl in America – we may not know each of you by name, but we see you and we love you too. You are beautiful and magical. May you always feel safe wherever you go.
To sign onto this letter, please click here: Sign the #EveryBlackGirl letter