25 Things I Want My Black Daughter To Know

25 Things I Want My Black Daughter To Know

25 Things I Want My Black Daughter To Know

Long before I had my daughter, I was a mentor to hundreds of Black girls all over Philadelphia. We laughed together, cried together, but at the end of the day, I sent them back home to their mamas.

Life is a lot different now. I’m raising my own little Black girl, and all of the worries and concerns that I had for my students are still there, but magnified by about a gazillion. Oh, and of course, there is no other mama for me to send her to at the end of the day. I’m the one!

Read 25 Ways to Empower Your Daughter

Raising my own little Black girl has certainly been more about the ups than the downs. Although we had a few issues where she was concerned about being the only Black girl in her class, and Lawd knows we struggle on wash day, I am so grateful to have a sweet brown girl to go through life with. 

25 Things I Want My Black Daughter To Know

1. You’re not responsible for the entire race, but some folks might think you are. Remember that as you make decisions.

2.  I don’t expect you to be better because you’re Black. I expect you to be better because you’re capable.

3. You’re my child now, and you’ll be my child even after you’re 18. You don’t have to feel ashamed for needing me to be your parent.

4. No adult should ever speak to you like you’re an adult. People try that a lot with Black kids. You make sure to tell them that they need to call and talk to your mama.

5. Your hair is beautiful. It’s kinky. It’s crinkly. It is NOT curly. It’s still incredibly lovely.

6. Your hair does not define you. It’s not even close to being the best thing about you.

7. Learning how to swim is a requirement. So is trying things like golf, skiing, and other “less Black” activities. You’ll never know if you like it if you don’t try it.

8. It’s okay to have emotions. Cry, yell, laugh…other folks do it, and you should, too.

9. Just being Black is enough. You don’t have to be creative with your ancestry to make yourself more valuable. Yes, you do have Native American and European heritage, but at the end of the day, we’re basically just Black. And that’s good.

10. You come from a long line of entrepreneurs, inventors, scholars, and yes, royalty. Just because there may not be major motion pictures about the successes of your ancestors doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

11. You’re not a villain just because you have a loud voice. You are also not aggressive, angry, or a bully. You’re just loud. Don’t allow other folks to fit you into their trope of the “angry Black woman”.

12. If you are doing something out of line, I’m going to address it immediately. It’s not because I don’t love you, or because I’m not a cool mom. It’s because I care more about you learning lessons in the moment than what your friends might think. You’ll thank me later.

13. There is no such thing as not seeing color.

14. Being the only Black girl in the room is a good thing. That means you get to stand out.

15. If there is only one other Black girl in the room, go say hi. Don’t shy away. She won’t take your “shine”.

16. Best friends can come in any color. Opposites attract.

17. When it’s time for you to date, it doesn’t matter what color a boy* is. He’d just better treat you just as well as your daddy does. (*Or girl. Whatever.)

18. Black history is American history. All of it is your history.

19. Read a lot of books about Black girls and women that are written by Black girls and women.

20. Write your story. Journal, blog, whatever you do, keep record of your own experience.

21. Don’t expect the media to represent you in the best light. Always be aware of the way you are representing yourself.

22. Start a business. Create a company. You never want to be in a position where you’re wondering if you’re not getting hired because you’re wearing braids or an afro.

23. Folks are going to want to have deep conversations with you about race because you’re Black. It’s ok to tell them when you’re not in the mood.

24. You don’t have to educate every non-Black you meet about the Black experience. There are lots of resources out there for folks. It’s not your fault if you happen to be the only Black person they know.

25. Being Black is just one thing about you, but some folks will see it as the most important thing. It’s not. It’s not even the most interesting thing about you.


19 responses to “25 Things I Want My Black Daughter To Know”

  1. Twianna Avatar

    Hi Brandi,

    I love this post, so very relevant to what has been plaguing society and its views on race. I am so proud of you for sharing this post! It is so vitally important that we instill value and self-worth into our children, because no one else is going to do it. I have been in many situations (because my children are homeschooled, sometimes we are the only black family), it breaks my heart when they are not accepted by other races or they aren’t included in certain activities. On the flip side, because we are a homeschooling family I also see a lot of our own race turn their nose down at us, or they will not speak for whatever reasons. How I respond in either situation, dictates the attitudes my children will take on and how they respond in these situations. All teachable moments!

    More often than not, we are all generalized and characterized based on the images and portrayals in the media and on television, we are not all a statistic, we are not all uneducated, we are not all committing violent crimes. I would love to see more positive portrayals of all of the individuals who are doing something positive and all those who are making a difference. I guess I can hold my breath now!

    Great Post! Sharing Now. Take Care!

  2. Danielle Avatar

    This is SO on point! Thanks for sharing…


    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you for reading, Danielle! <3

  3. Adanna Avatar

    Oh I love this! Wonderful advice not just for little black girls but grown ones too, some of us moms still need to hear some this. I love this point about not getting creative about ancestry. That’s one of my pet peeves. I

  4. Kristine Avatar

    I love this! Brandi all this is on point. Thank you for sharing, and I’ll be sharing your post.

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you, Kristine! I appreciate you checking out this post and sharing it!

  5. Britney Avatar

    I love this 🙂

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thanks so much, Britney! 🙂

  6. Margaret Avatar

    Thank you for this beautiful post. The love and pride you feel for your daughter comes through in every line.
    I was just thinking the past few days how many of our daughters do not feel loved, valuable and beautiful. Then at a certain age, far too young, they seek that feeling from boys. They briefly feel valuable and powerful when they sense the attraction from a boy. And before they know it they are over their heads and often left behind. Then the feelings of not being loved, valued and beautiful take over again and they seek it from another boy.
    This pattern sadly continues into adulthood and leaves us with so many depressed women who cannot see their true value and beauty.
    If every child had an adult who felt the way you do about your daugher, the world would be a beautiful place.
    Thank you.

  7. Laura Avatar

    So good it needs to be hung on the wall! Sharing on the Free Range Learning fb page.

  8. Renae Avatar

    I love, love -love this ENTIRE list I have 2 daughters and you have touched on almost everything I want them to know.

    1. Thiah Avatar

      There were some really great teaching points in this post. Thanks for this.

  9. Tonya Cummings Avatar
    Tonya Cummings

    Your articles really inspired me! I’ve being trying to teach my 4-year old these same values. Do you have an online mentoring group for young girls online? An online Skype community for Black Moms and Black Girls to pen-pal?
    Just an idea…

  10. Rose Avatar

    This was such a beautiful piece and so on point. I was beautifully moved by this and just HAD to share it on Twitter.

  11. Malla Haridat Avatar

    Loved this! They are powerful reminders for how to embrace Black culture yet have balance of navigating the daily struggles.

  12. Cathryn Avatar

    As a member of a multi-racial family, I so appreciated the frankness of your article. While written to your daughter, I think it speaks rather eloquently to those ‘listening in’ so to speak.

  13. fredericka Avatar

    Im freddie and I found your site while reaserching best mommy blogs being that I just started one of my own.

    I have to say reading this blog, Things I want my black daughter to now, I could not make it to the 6th one on the list before I started to cry. I have two Black girls and I make a conscious choice everyday to show them that they are loved and that they are beautiful and the fact of the matter is, my husband and I can do tel them they are worthy and they are more than just their skin color and yet I still fear in my heart, that at least one of them wil not love themselves as I did for short time when i was younger. I felt every word that you wrote as if I were saying it myself to my babies. Thank you for thought your feelings. I feel I can realte and you just got another reader.


  14. Heather Avatar

    Dear Brandi,

    Thank you for this post. It resonated in me for many reasons. My own beautiful brown daughter is 18 years old not, and you are right, just because she is, doesn’t mean she needs her momma any less. When my daughter Sahar was in elementary school the mother of a friend of her’s hosted a “hair party!” Three little sweet brown girls with their hair full and free gathered together to celebrate being perfectly them. In honor the celebration of one of the many characteristics of our daughters that makes them magnificently them, I wrote a poem called “Beautiful Hair.”

    I’m not sure whether it is appropriate for me to share here, and so out of respect and just in case it is not, please know that you blog has touched me greatly,

  15. Monica Avatar

    I’m as white as I can be. I love this, it offers such empowerment. I also found it educational on a personal level. Thank you for being such an intuitive mom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *