Dear Black Girls
Dear Black Girls
I love the way your Black skin
wraps itself around you,
as if it never wants to let go,
as if your colour is the richest thing
it has ever known.
Poetic and inspirational, Dear Black Girls is an affirmational letter written to young girls of colour. It celebrates the beauty, autonomy, and grace of a young girl’s hair, skin colour, and body, a body that “is your own and only yours.” It is a body “ready to fight and laugh and kiss and love and scream.” Addressing the unfortunate reality that history and literature have not typically included the stories of Black girls and women, the author writes that their “histories aren’t always shown.” However, Black girls are to “know that [they] are honoured, protected, and loved” despite how they are depicted in society or by what they experience. The end page includes an enlightening and inspiring letter from the author in which readers learn the origins of the book and her personal message to all Black girls from a variety of cultures, religious affiliations, and gender identities.
The illustrations by Dalz portray girls in a variety of settings, from playing in the park, to having hair styled at the kitchen table, to learning different languages at school. Their expressions are filled with happiness and merriment as they experience nature, fun, and friendships, along with the love and devotion of their family. A variety of skin colours, body types, religions, and medical conditions are depicted. The illustrations are colourful, vivid, and cheerful, reflecting the joy and hope of the text.
Roxy Garstad is the Collections Librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.