no one told me what it would be like being a black girl

by Randy Randrianarison


No one told me what it would be like.


No one told me what it would be like wondering if the person you have a crush on likes Black girls. No one told me what it would be like hating all the features about yourself that aren’t “white enough”. No one told me what it would be like being called the last word your ancestors heard before they got killed, raped, and tortured. No one told me what it would be like being told you are pretty but for a Black girl. No one told me what it would be like watching your mother struggle to get a job because of the color of her skin. No one told me what it would be like having my culture stolen by the same people who made fun of it.


No one told me what it would be like being a Black girl.


No one told me what it would be like learning that the reason your country is poor is because of colonization. No one told me what it would be like learning the language of your colonizers. No one told me what it would be like never seeing anyone popular or famous who looked like you. No one told me what it would be like seeing people that do look like you on the news because cops killed them for no apparent reason. No one told me what it would be like having no hairdressers know how to properly do your hair.


No one told me what it would be like being a Black girl.


So let me tell you what it's like.


Being a Black girl for me is having your so-called “friend” say the n-word in class and when you tell them to stop the teacher yells at you. Being a Black girl for me is having your parents try to show you your cultural food, instruments, and hairstyles, and yet though you want to learn, you repent because you don’t want to be Black. Being a Black girl for me is having your school not pay attention to the Black history month assembly, because they don’t care about the oppression you face every day. Being a Black girl for me is telling your parents your experience with racial trauma and them not believing you. Being a Black girl for me is having the healthcare system believe you “don’t feel pain”. So when you go in to get a medical procedure the white doctor does not do the medical procedure correctly, warns you about no side effects, and therefore causes you to have a disease that could cause severe damage. Then when you get a disease from the medical malpractice the doctor tells you, you are fine and nothing is wrong, therefore not treating you and you are left to suffer.


But no matter how much society pushes me down I will always know what being a Black girl truly means.


Being a Black girl means your skin absorbs the sun and your hair defies gravity. Being a Black girl means you are the only organism that possesses the mitochondrial DNA having all variations possible for every different kind of human being on the planet. Being a Black girl means your skin will glow 10 times brighter than others in the sun. Being a Black girl means you're powerful and strong because you have to deal with the barriers of the patriarchy and white supremacy simultaneously.


So yes I am a Black girl and my voice will be heard and my experiences will be listened to and I am proud to be a Black girl.

about the author:

Randy Randrianarison - City rep. Toronto, Ontario

Randy Randrianarison is the AHEO city representative of Toronto, Ontario. She is passionate about advocating for racial equality and hopes her writing can make a difference. She writes this story/poem in a perspective of growing up as a black girl. She explains that she went through many challenges relating to her race and emphasizes on the importance of being more mindful. She is ultimately proud to be Black and is helping other Black youth overcome their challenges and reach their goals and ambitions.