DCC Sydney – A Letter to My Younger Self
Oh, how time has flown! Believe it or not you are 26 years old now and living amidst a global pandemic! Crazy right?!?!
I am writing you now because you will need tough skin and grace to navigate life as a Black woman in America. The experience of being both female and an African-American presents you with a specific vantage point that only other Black women can fully understand. I am not telling you this to discourage you, but rather to encourage you to embrace your uniqueness, lean into discomfort, and always use your gifts and talents to inspire others.
Education will be an important aspect of your journey to self-discovery. You do not know this yet, but in the future, you will receive your bachelors and masters’ degrees from a university that did not allow Black students until 1961 ⎯⎯ 184 years after the university was founded. During your time at this university, students who look like you will make up less than 10% of the total student population. You will be the only African-American woman in many of your classes and on the University’s dance team your first year. DO NOT let this be a deterrent to you. Use your presence to educate those around you and normalize the presence of faces like yours in those settings.
Growth can only be undertaken outside of your comfort zone. I challenge you to always lean into discomfort. Your journey is like that of a diamond. Often times others will admire the finished product as the beautiful gemstone it presents today, but overlook the substantial time and immense pressure that led to its formation.
Sparkle brilliantly and shine brightly! XO,