I just wanted to write a little letter of appreciation to my mama. I've been participating as part of the cultural competence committee for our district for the last six months and yesterday we presented to the superintendent's council to propose implementing cultural competency trainings for our principals, counselors, teachers, etc. During this time, we've talked a lot about race and culture and what education systems are in place that act as barriers for student success. We've had to deep into our own story as well.
Often times people ask how I became the strong black woman I am and most of the time I give credit to Grandma Rawlins. She was the main woman of color figure in my life and her resume of activism for civil rights in Kansas speaks volumes, especially considering how little voice women had back then. However, when I think about who taught me to have pride in being a black woman, it was you who did that. I can remember you cutting out articles about the things Grandma Rawlins had done for me to take to school to share with my peers who were mostly white. Now that I have a daughter who has hair identical to mine, I realize what a struggle it must've been to not only learn about hair completely different from yours, but master styling it and then teaching me how to style it as well.
So thank you for always making me feel beautiful, teaching me to be strong and to be proud of my heritage. Now that I have Lena, I realize that raising a black girl is not easy. I struggle with embracing her sassy, bold personality, but also keeping in mind that she's going to have people tell her she's too loud or too black. I just want to nurture her the best way possible.