It is no less than dangerous for a Black girl to depend on the world for esteem. In its hands, she is merely loud, silly, ugly, sexual. Should she swallow the world's definition of her, a Black girl stands to lose: time, voice, brilliance, significance, everyday gifts of self-love, and that sugar sweet/necessary peace of mind (among other things).
A Revolutionary Summer exists to keep Black girls whole, to balance the scales, to offer up a Nobel Laureate, radical poet, and love story for every stupid, shallow representation of her. A Revolutionary Summer validates Black girl language, Black girl thought, Black girl hair, and Black girl hips. It traces, analyzes, justifies, and celebrates Black girl herstory. It contributes forcefully, unapologetically to a sound Black girl future. (Otherwise, it will need to get busy gathering Black girl bones.)
Last summer, Malene Kai Bell and Andria Nacina Cole co-founded A Revolutionary Summer to fill the gaps in their teenage daughters’ reading. The women (writers themselves) soon discovered that womanist literary giants like Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Audre Lorde would have a far bigger impact than originally imagined. The experience would sharpen the girls’ critical thinking skills, sure, but it would also kick down the door of self-love. In essence, the summer would place an enormous kiss on the girls’ beautiful foreheads. It would be a summer of I love yous.
A Revolutionary Summer 2016 promises to be another empowering summer, but to guide 25 daughters toward their real stories, we need books we can touch…and keep!
Please click here to buy a T-shirt and help guarantee that a girl will read a small library of significant texts, including the preeminent Their Eyes Were Watching God.