I was fortunate that as a child, I navigated without fear and was encouraged to see that my dreams are possible.
I was taught to be a leader and always speak up for myself. I now realize that I was being taught that my voice has power and that my ideas creates opportunity. And that this power is unique to me. If we look up the definition of voice, it is defined as the ability to speak or sing. It also means “the right to express an opinion.” Often as black girls, we find ourselves in situations where our right to express our opinion is oppressed. I am here to express that no matter the situation, we have a right to express our stories, our ideas, and our opinions-- without fear.
I know when we are growing up, we are taught that we may not know much about life because we are young. We are taught that adults do all the talking and decision-making. It may be true that while we are young, the adults in our lives are wiser, however, never forget that you do have a right to express your thoughts- your voice is your voice. Now I know that as we move along in life, we are conditioned to not advocate for ourselves or others. Also, we start to hear terms like “Angry Black Girl”. Let’s be honest I am not sure where or why this term resonated over the years, but it has. Somehow as we grow older, our fearlessness demeanor diminishes. I encourage you to know that when you are facing challenging moments, understand that your voice is valid, and to continue to show up fearless.
Whether you are in high school, college, or beyond, you are not alone. No matter what stage in life you are in, being black—means you will feel moments of inadequacies, loneliness, and to be frank, -anger, that the space we continue to live in still is predominantly white-favored. For the most part, I am still learning how to navigate this space and emotions, but I must admit that my voice provides me comfort in those moments. Finding your voice helps you while navigating situations that are often built to break you down. In the end, I hope you always remember that your brilliant beyond measure. You are valuable and doing an awesome job. The world needs your voice and your ideas. Your voice is your story, therefore use it – share it, no matter what your friends, society, and even some family members might say.
Written By: Kenya Kirkman
My name is Kenya Kirkman. I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I am an avid traveler, and currently reside in Harlem. My favorite countries thus far have been Portugal and Cuba. My goal in life is to inspire all while becoming the best me. I’m so excited to be working the Dinner Table Doc.