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  • Kimberly


By Kimberly
Posted on March 1, 2023
Cover Image Title: Girl of Color
Cover Image by: Aleena Choudhry
Classification: Photography
Year: 2023

To the young girls of color,

To the young girls who burn their hair to be as straight as theirs,

To the young girls that are made ashamed of their food in cafeterias,

To the young girls who have dreams brighter than their own smiles,

To you phenomenal young women, I say,

You have a long line of women who came before you

With every step you take,

Take a piece of their resilience with you

Smile in faces that frown at you with pride

Your beauty is not present in theirs

Learn your own reflection

Every crease in your lips

Each wave in your hair

The slight slant in your eyes

Your nose bump

Be unapologetically you

And do it proudly




Sunlight and water

Grow into a towering tree

From the roots of hatred

The tears you shed

The heat of your anger

Sojourner Truth

Malala Yousafzai

Rosa Parks

Marsha P. Johnson

Terisa Siagatonu

Aung San Suu Kyi

To you phenomenal young women, they say


This poem is about uplifting young girls of color. Following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and listening to his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech again, I realize that his dream of an America free of racial discrimination and hatred has not been a reality yet. This poem zooms in on a smaller, yet still very broad, group of people who still have not lived to see this dream to be true: young girls of color. When I was in elementary school, it was a struggle for me to bring my Vietnamese food to school as I was afraid of how others may criticize and yuck not only me, but my people’s food. I felt completely isolated. I can not stop the actions of other people, but with this poem, I hope to have touched other young girls who have been made fun of or made to feel ashamed of themselves by others due to their race, nationality, skin color, hair type, eye shape, cultural food, traditions, etc. With this poem, I hope to teach younger girls that beauty is not based on the white girl. Beauty comes in infinite forms, and as young girls, we should be taught that a white woman is not the standard. Their blonde hair and blue eyes are just as beautiful as our own features. Although it is way past overdue, it has always been the time to recognize beauty beyond the walls of media standards. At the end of this poem, I included a short list of women who fought for us women in history. Each of these women has left behind a strong, evergreen legacy or contributed to women’s progression in society. Today, let it be our collective effort to work towards Dr. King’s dream to end not only racial inequity but gender discrimination as well. “Truth is powerful and it prevails” - Sojourner Truth.

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