“The girls demand more attention, time, and patience. They are what hip-hop artist Wale calls lotus flower bombs.” – Liza Jessie Peterson
I had a great time riding a bike yesterday, through the trails of Lacombe, Louisiana when I came across a pond of lotus flowers. I’m naturally drawn to nature and I know that nature in its purest state, always tells a story. Pedestrians walking by the pond may have just noticed the white flower and kept it moving. But for me, it caught my attention because it reminded me of what black girls, especially, experience in their lifetime.
Just as this picture that I took above, and will use from here on out to share this story, black girls are surrounded by poverty, histories of sexual abuse and neglect that creates their families cycles of dysfunction, exposed to violence at young ages, lack of quality education and so much more. The green leaves in this photo is similar to the many opportunities or setbacks that surround a lot of our black girls. They are drowning in the ponds of life and underneath the waters and leaves, lies a beautiful lotus flower, a black girl who is just waiting on someone to open up her mind to begin blossoming into her own being.
I am careful to not let myself think that I am too far removed from my inner adolescence because, I am considered a “successful black woman” by my peers and some of the teenagers that I work with. So, I would be that flower that has fully blossomed from the water and is resting on the leaf. I am not too far from reach from black girls but I have fully developed and survived the trials of life, as traumatic as they were at times.
That protruding lotus flower that you see above, emerging from the water (pond) represents our young black girls. They have not fully developed into maturity, although their body images, and neck rolling capabilities will surely make you believe otherwise. Our young black girls are in need of love, guidance and PATIENCE when dealing with them. I work in a facility that are dominated by boys and when I say, working on a unit with eight boys is just the same as working with ONE girl. Some of the young black girls in our society today, unfortunately, aspire to be the next lil boy’s in their neighborhood, “baby momma” who they assume will love them even more if they have a baby “for him”, or they believe that being a hot video vixen or reality television drama queen, will finance their careers of what exactly, I HAVE NO CLUE. Instant gratification, is killing our young generation, slowly and I can not wait until our youth WAKE UP and value their lives more.
How can I grasp the minds of the young black girls that crosses my path on my new assignment here in New Orleans? A city where young girls are being victims of humantrafficking, even if someone in the court of law convinces them that what they’re doing is giving “consent” for the pleasure of older men, and what is deemed stabled income just for them to survive. My heart really bleeds for them because instead of playing with dolls and playing dress-up in their mothers clothes, they are playing Russian roulette with their reproductive organs and worse, they are at risk for being infected with HIV because they are not sexually responsible enough to get educated on how the disease is transmitted.
I ponder over and over, how am I, the fully developed lotus flower, able to reach if not one black girl, the masses? As you can see, in the image above that I captured, my imperfections. There’s still spots and blemishes in my life that I am still working on or working through to be that beautiful lotus flower that stands alone, in that first image. I am not married at 37 years old, my finances are not as though they were, and I have flaws like any other human being in America, so often times, I am preaching to the choir when I am engaged in a conversation with a young black girl. But somewhere in the middle of my flaws, the blemishes, the dark pasts, the remnants of abuse and emotional rollercoasters that I find myself riding on in life, is the yellow part of the lotus flower, which is to me, the most delicate part of the flower.
The outer layers are the different stages of life, if we continue using the analogy of the lotus flower. As a black woman, who once was a young black girl who struggled with identity issues and rebellion when I didn’t understand how to express how I felt. I wished that I had someone to tell me realistic ways to navigate through puberty, maybe I did have someone but just didn’t listen, like any other typical teenager. My, my, my would the world be different, had I listened! It took all of those layers for me to now protect the yellow part, my delicacy. I value anyone who takes the time to reach out to youth, boys and girls, because the voice inside of their heads tell them that no one sees them.
Black girls, I love you. Black girls, I see you. Black girls, I’m sorry you were robbed of your innocence. Black girls, I value you. Black girls, keep protruding even while under the cycles of life, so that you can fully develop into all that God has for you. Black girls, you are beautiful, just the way you are. Black girls, you are more than what you currently see. Black girls, sisterhood is important, we all need each other to survive. Black girls, my time and patience is dedicated to you because you are indeed a lotus flower bomb.
The next time you encounter a young black girl, please give her your attention, time and patience, she needs it to survive.