MY WISH FOR YOU IS THAT YOU CONTINUE.
Even as an early twenty-something I find myself constantly pining for and soaking up positive and similarly identifiable representations of myself in other black women. I’m a young adult, but I still feel like a young girl searching for black women representations in every aspect and level of life. I yearn to hear their testimonies, plight, words of advice, humor, and even feelings of inadequacy. They help me to feel less alone, like I can achieve anything, remind me of my beauty as a darker complected woman, and remind me that I am valid and multi-faceted.
In case you missed one of the most recent and beautiful moments in Black Women excellence, Essence held its 8th annual Black Women In Hollywood event. Numerous, prominent and impactful black women figures came out to celebrate, honor, love on, and fellowship with one another like Tia Mowry, Regina King, Lupita Nyong’o, Ruth E. Carter, Ava DuVernay, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. I stalked these celebs and others, and scoured the internet to get a taste of what happened at the event. I was able to find some interviews and speeches, but the one that really fed my soul was a pep talk given to Oprah Winfrey by her mentor Maya Angelou shortly before Angelou’s passing. Read it below:
"My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are. To astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to let humor lighten the burden of a tender heart in a society known for cruelty. To let the people hear the grandeur of God in the pearls of your laughter. Continue to let your eloquence [or read as elegance] elevate people to heights they can only they imagined. Continue to remind the people that each is as good as the other and that no one is beneath you or above you. Continue to remember your own young years and look with favor upon the lost and the least and the lonely. Continue to put the mantle of your protection around the bodies of the young and the defenseless. Continue to take the hand of the despised and the diseased and walk proudly in the high street. Some might see you and be encouraged to do likewise. Continue to plant a kiss of concern on the cheek of the sick and the aged and the infirmed and count that action as natural and to be expected. Continue to let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge that you build to overcome evil and unwelcomed good. Continue to spare no vision which comes to enlarge your range and increase your spirit. Continue today to dare to love deeply and to risk everything for the good thing. Continue to float in the sea of Infinite substance which set aside riches for you long before you even had a name. Continue and by doing so you and your work will be able to continue eternally."
This speech really resonated with me, so much that I plan on printing this out and putting it on my vision wall. I hope this speech sparks a more positive change in you, and reminds you that it even helped two iconic black women to be even better people.
If you were able to catch anything related to the 8th annual Black Women In Hollywood event, comment below who or what inspired you or simply made you feel like you were enough.