My eyes ain’t used to these rays
I’m feeling exposed, but I hide no more
I can’t hide
As the sun shines on all of my glory
My flaws don’t look so bad at all
What was I so afraid of?

Every part of me is a vision of a portrait
Of Mona, of Mona Lisa
Every part of me is beautiful
And I finally see I’m a work of art
A masterpiece

 

Those are just a few of the lyrics from Jazmine Sullivan’s “Mona Lisa”, her newest single from her album, ‘Reality Show’.

 

Watching Jazmine perform the beautiful song during last night’s Black Girl’s Rock event, I felt a different kind of beautiful. I not only listened to the lyrics Jazmine was singing, but I watched her in all of confidence and in her pride. Her outer beauty radiated, reflecting from her inner beauty, as she and her flawless backup dancers showed America that we are all uniquely beautiful, regardless of size, skin color, height, etc. That’s the kind of beautiful that I felt, watching her performance.

The entire performance perfectly illustrated the fierceness that women and young girls should have about themselves. Unfortunately, we’re all not that confident.

It’s not easy living in a society where women with extra curves &/or unique skin color, etc., is undermined and undervalued, because they don’t fit the beauty standard.

Well, this performance says that we are not the standard, but the exception!

We are a “Mona Lisa”…a MASTERPIECE!

I am so here for this single to be the anthem for every little girl, young lady, and woman who thinks they aren’t good enough.

Like Jazmine says…every part of you is a vision of a portrait.

Don’t let society and mainstream media tell you any different!

Press play below for Jazmine’s epic and powerful performance!

 

Marley Dias:” I’m tired of all the books about white boys and dogs”. [she was assigned to read in fifth grade.]

Mom: “What are you gonna do about it?”

Marley Dias:” I should start a book drive!”, she said, in reply to her mom. “I want to start a book drive where Black girls are the main characters and that’s really how it came to be!”

…and that’s how #1000BlackGirlBooks was born!

 

The conversation between the Jersey native and her mom inspired this young lady to start her mission to collect books that black girls like her could relate to or connect with. With the help of her mom, Janice, Marley launched the book drive on Facebook.

The project is part of an annual social action effort Marley makes as a member of the Philadelphia-founded GrassROOTS Community Foundation Super Camp for young girls, designed to empower and improve the health of ‘impoverished’ girls middle-school-aged and younger. Dias’ mother, Janice, cofounded the organization seven years ago with lead MC of The Roots, Tariq Trotter, AKA Black Thought.

 

Janice, who grew up in St. Mary, Jamaica, spoke with the PhillyVoice and shared how “eye-opening” her daughter’s project has been for her.

“I didn’t need identification, or I didn’t desire it because I grew up in an all-black country,” Janice told PhillyVoice. “She’s not growing up in an all-black country; she’s growing up in a fairly white suburb, in a country that only has 12.6 percent of blacks. For her, identification is a bigger deal. … For young black girls in the U.S., context is really important for them — to see themselves and have stories that reflect experiences that are closer to what they have or their friends have.”

Listen to Marley’s recent radio interview here

Want to donate?

Books or monetary donations can be sent to: GrassRoots Community Foundation, 59 Main St., Suite 323, West Orange, NJ, 07052.

Founded by Beverly Bond, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to empowering and mentoring young girls and women of color through youth enrichment programs.  It’s also established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.

I always look forward to the BLACK GIRLS ROCK AWARDS every year with hosts, Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King! Check out B.E.T’s website here. I’m so glad that my daughter can look to an organization she can be inspired by and may even take part in 🙂

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