Photo Credit: Huffington Post
Compton-based artist Lawrence Lindell had a mission to let black girls know that their value extends far beyond their lack of representation and derogatory comments that plague them. He created From Black Boy with Love as a way to uplift black girls with empowering messages, spoken from black boys.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lindell Studios
It's no secret that there's a problem with how some black men and women interact, and these behaviors are learned overtime. Lawrence shared that this book was an alternative to what he actually learned as a boy. There were many women in his life that he loved, and he wanted to make something for them. Lawrence is also a youth art teacher, and he sees all too frequently kids teasing one another, with go-to insults having something to do with skin tones, body appearance or hair. "We have to change the narrative that the more melanin you have means you're uglier and that natural hair is bad or improper," Lawrence had to say. He hopes that black boys that read this will understand the importance of respecting all women, black women in particular.
Video Credit: Facebook/ NowThis Her
Black and brown boys, treat all girls with respect, but especially the ones who look like you, sound like you, live where you live; we have to take care of each other.
This message is so important! The black community has to learn how to communicate effectively amongst one another and to unlearn their toxic behaviors. Hearing about his students took me back to coming up in elementary school. I remember the roasting sessions kids used to have and all of the "you so black..." and "you so fat..." and "your hair's so nappy" jokes. Being a chunkier, dark-skinned girl, I definitely had my share of being the target of insults and bullying. I remember wondering how could these people who look like me, who call themselves my friends and who are supposed to have my back talk to me like this. It put me in a negative, confused state that took a while to get out of, honestly.
It's sad that we, as young girls, had to hear that if a boy was mean to us, it was because he liked us. No one wanted to point out how problematic that was? If a boy likes a girl, play with her; give her a flower; writer a note to check yes or no; hold her hand on the playground; don't be jerk. When was this destructive behavior learned? I never understood this backwards, twisted concept. It's thinking like this that has boys growing up to be men that cause women a great deal of harm ("out of love" or harm resulting from denials of advancements) that leaves women damaged or, even worse, dead.
What's crazy to me is how young men and women in my generation grew up in a time when blackness wasn't met with the same level of affirmations and celebration that it is today. Social norms called for mocking black features and habits. We didn't have #blackgirlmagic and #blackboyjoy to show us that truly living in our blackness, however that manifested, was okay. We had to learn to be comfortable in our own skin, with the help of our own circles. Growing up in the south was no joke! Nevertheless, the celebration of blackness that we've come to is beautiful. I love my blackness and yours!
Lawrence's book is a step in the direction of changing our narrative. It's always so refreshing to see a black man standing up for black women. We have to send the message to our kids that it's okay to be nice to each other, to encourage and not tear each other down, to not always have to be or act so strong. Let's learn how to and continue to love each other out loud!
Lawrence is a really dope artisit! Check out his work and From Black Boy with Love at Lawrence Lindell Studios.
Welcome to FashionSinatra.com. I write about fashion things and elements of the culture that move me. Enjoy!