by Jamal Sharif

Since Althea, those little white skirts have been dyin' for some flava.
Enter Wimbeldon, 2000.
When an inner city princess unleashed a bountiful dose.
In the home of queens, crumpets, and Spice Girls, the message was unmistakably clear:
Compton done gone global. Blackgirl power is in the house.
In full undeniable effect.
Her name: Venus Ebone Starr Williams.
Tennis player prodigy extraordinaire.
Our own blacktop beauty.
With those cheekbones.
Those lips.
That smile.
That confidence.
She's cornrowed and convinced.
Urban royalty.
The unforgivable combination of intelligence, nerve, wit, talent, and determination.
She's baaad.
Pretty annoying things for a blackgirl to be, judging from the press.
To that, I have only this to say:
You go girl.
In an atmosphere where our talent, hard work, and successes are shrugged off as
coincidence or mere fluke, Venus gives ebony girls reason to be proud.
Too often, we are taught to tone it down.  Blend in.  Acquiesce.
Venus tells us to be as distinctive as we wanna be.  With flair.  And no apologies.
She proves that even if you're black and a girl and from the ghetto,
God's got a plan for you, too.
That zip code doesn't equal destiny.
Our girl Venus 'aint shamed.
She's not coming up with funny little names to describe her ethnicity.
She is blackgirl defined.
Our willing reflection.
She represents you.  Me.  Shante' from down the street.
She personifies all inner city princesses, those with similar dreams, looks,
and qualities; so often discounted, maligned, and overlooked.
She puts non-believers on notice.
She gave us a new mantra:
We're here.
We're the shit.
Deal with it.
Thank you, Venus.  I hope you realize what you've done.
For awhile now, the market had been somewhat shaky.  But in the early morning
hours of July 8th, 2000, BlackGirl stock shot straight up.
Some of us cash out before reaping our much deserved return.
Me? I 'aint never sellin'my shares.

BlackGirlPower by Jamal Sharif

© Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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