For the Little Ones Who Walk in My Footsteps by Lily Zerihun

Dear little one,

You came from the womb of a mother who held you on the day you were born and cried because you were beautiful. She’s told you that for as long as you can remember.

Little one, but someday you’ll walk into a world that will try to prove her wrong.

Little one, they’ll tell you that your hair looks better straight, but don’t believe them. Your curls stretch to brush the feet of angels up in heaven.

Little one, they’ll tell you to wash the chocolate from your face, but don’t listen to them. Your melanin is rich as an espresso, and smooth as a gelato.

They told you that you won’t be good enough, or smart enough, but prove them wrong, little one! Show them what you’re capable of. Their hatred will be fuel for your success.

Someday you’ll come back and love yourself just the same as you do now. Your mama didn’t lie when she said that you were beautiful.

Little one, and I pray that I can build a world where your bright smile never fades. May you never wish to wash the chocolate from your face.


by Lily Zerihun
Originally published on March 22, 2016