I watched you the other night and wondered out loud to myself, where are you.

Surrounded by so many of them, few that looked like you, I felt like screaming out loud, where are you.

I waited for you to turn, waited for you to look my way, waited to see if your stride is still as confident as you are, waited to hear whether your voice is just as striking too.

You did. It is.

There you are. There you are still more beautiful than the rising sun.

Still with your crooked smile that melts my heart like on the day you first arrived. Still with a voice so serene, so charismatic like the call of birds.

Someday, somewhere, someone like me, will write about you, about your confident walk, your crooked smile, your charismatic voice, and how something tried but failed to dim the sun, and all it’s brilliance.

To know you, is to see the sun.

Image by Miranda M with ua_designed on instagram.

I think about black girls a lot. Black boys too. How they live and grow in a society that batters them before they turn 15. I watch whether they still stand erect as trees or not. Whether they have voice. Whether they remain rooted or not, in something stronger that whatever society throws their way. And society is out for them. I know this too well having grown in places that would rather we remain invisible than seen. Few care to dig in the night. I know. But when the possibilities of treasures like stars resides in them, why not dig. I choose to dig to see their light for myself. All they ways they bend and still stand. All they ways they speak, walk, confident in their words and stride. I choose to see because seeing is all we can do when society would rather they stay invisible. I hope to write one day letters that celebrate them, lift them up to, through the struggles, and still remain a fountain of joy for them. This is my prayer. That I too will keep seeing all black girls and boys, just as they are. Like the brilliance of the sun.

Earlier this week my little girl came home with a Prize: The Duchesne Award.

As background, her principal wrote the following to dad and I in an email: ‘this student lives like St. Rose Philippine Duchesne by confidently living as a child of the Sacred Heart. Her faith shows in everything she does. She has a happy disposition and is a pleasure to be around. She radiates pure joy and it shows and everything she does, especially in her creativity. She is a good friend to her peers as well as always being polite and courteous to adults. She is a beautiful writer just like St. Rose Philippine Duchesne and expresses herself through thoughtful and creative writings she shares with her class. Her smile brightens the classroom every single day. She is encouraged to show her “brave” and stand up for what she believes in. She is strengthened by love and friendship and always has a positive outlook on all situations. The Duchesne Award for 3-6th grade goes to Lotanna Ezepue. Congratulations!’

Receiving her award!

I wanted to write something beautiful to my little girl after seeing. In fact, I did to her principal but not to her yet, mostly because words fail me. Not because she is my daughter but more so because she is all our hopes and dreams come true. To behold a child full of grace, is to know one truly blessed amongst many. They say a child shall lead, especially those whose feet are blind. And when they do, they will rise on wings like eagles and soar beyond golden sunsets. You my child are golden and may you continue to lead all of us in search of new paths with your creativity and discipline. For to know you, to love you too, is to know grace and our souls are full, because you bless us with your gifts. Keep soaring my Belle.

Few bear witness to power within Black girls. Even very few celebrate it too. Yet black girls who are celebrated today, will be celebrated tomorrow and always. Today, I celebrate my daughter. She shared papers she received from school today. One after the other, they showed how terrific she was, whether with geography or spelling or basic reading. She was delighted to share her scores. I told her I was proud but better yet, I asked her how she felt. Her response: While she was taking these tests she was nervous. But now, she felt good about the scores because they show how she overcame her fears. As I listened to her, I was suddenly in awe of her intense awareness of fear and how to overcome them. She is only 9. Yet, this inward realization of her strength as applied to the outward celebrations of her tenacity is a treasure that surely must be supported at all cost, protected too. For black girls who know they are terrific today, will surely be legendary tomorrow. Keep being terrific my child.