For Colored Girls

Today for "Throwback Thursday" I posted a picture on Instagram of my dad and I at Disneyland in 1998. 
I didn't expect to have the emotional reaction I did and felt the need to share it with you all. 

I've always had the ability to look at a picture and remember exactly how I felt when that moment was captured. 
When I look at this particular picture I can't help but get emotional. 
Today, it made me cry (and I'm crying as I write this). 

For those of you who were Disney obsessed like i was you know that Mulan came out in 1998. 
My objective for this trip: GET A MULAN COSTUME.
My dad had taken me to every gift shop at Disneyland in search of this costume, and every sales associate told him that they didn't carry it. 
The more shops we went to the more my heart broke leading up to the emotional breakdown you see most children have at Disneyland when their parents won't buy them every overpriced item they won't care about in three days. 

My breakdown was serious. It was a mature breakdown.

I'll never forget screaming, "I hate Disneyland! They don't have any black princesses! I'm going to write them a letter telling them they need a black princess!" 

This was the moment I became a culture critic/image activist. 
This was the moment I became another black girl facing the injustices of our society. 
This was the moment I realized that I was just that: A. BLACK. GIRL. 
This was the moment I realized that society didn't care about brown girls like me. 

Most importantly, this moment marked the beginning of how the rest of my life would be.

I share this with you because this journey I've embarked on is healing. 
It's helped me understand my experiences such as this and put words to them. 
It's given me a voice. 
& I hope that my voice can gives others a voice. 

I go so hard for Women of Color, for People of Color because I know how it feels to be broken. 
I know how it feels to be broken and to try to put yourself together when the rest of the world continues to break you. 
But, I also know how liberating becoming whole is. 

I can recall being 8-years-old and feeling like I had to battle the hardships of the world, my world, my reality.. on my own. 
I always felt like I saw the world differently than others my age. 
I remember asking God, "why me?" 
But I am so thankful for EVERY moment because I know I wouldn't be at this beautiful place in my life without them. 

I embarked on this journey for me. 
For healing. 
For answers. 
But, I've realized that this isn't about ME.  
This is about those brown faces that I always see a hint of myself in. 
This is for those ambitious, determined, relentless young girls and women who are the epitome of fighters. 
This is for my future daughter, my niece, and all the other brown girls of the world. 

I dedicate this journey of self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-definition to all the women of color who have been broken and who have put themselves back together. 
May we raise our daughters to be whole.

With allllllll the love in the world.

© Copyright 2014 Tamara Pridgett, All Rights Reserved