Black Hair Magic

[This story is taken from a book I’m self-publishing called ‘Impossible Things.’ The genre is magical realism. Thanks for reading! Full book coming soon. ❤ ]

A short story

By: Ashley Tiara Lilly

Black Hair Magic

It was a hot summer day but the air conditioning was cool. Abigail sat on her bed, flipping through a copy of her favorite magazine while eating from a pack of peach-flavored mints. She was wearing a new pair of denim shorts with her favorite white top that was decorated with lace.

She paused when she saw a picture of her favorite popstar, Daphne Moon, and circled it with a blue pen. Daphne wore red lipstick, a golden, glittery dress, and her smile was bright. What really stood out, though, was her hair, slicked back but still showing off her beautiful curls. Abigail snapped a picture with her smart phone and sent it to her best friend, Jayla, typing,

“Ugh she’s so perfect. Why can’t my hair look like that????”

There was a knock on the door and her mother walked in, carrying a brown box. She shook the box to get her attention, its contents rattling inside. As soon as Abigail heard it, she knew exactly what it was. She hopped out of bed and took the box in her hands, holding it to her chest like a long lost treasure.

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Like this story? Read the rest of it here 🙂

Gender Equality and Inclusion

Feminism has always been a complex movement. When women first fought for the right to vote in the UK and the U.S., it was noble, but it wasn’t all inclusive. This right to vote was intended for a specific demographic, namely white women. It didn’t include women of color, or any person of color for that matter. That’s not to say that what these women did wasn’t admirable, because even as a woman of color, I look up to the suffragettes. I don’t think people necessarily mean to forget about marginalized populations, but it happens none the less, even in the 21rst century.

Even in our culture that is probably more accepting than it has ever been, our feminism tends to lack inclusion. We can’t have a feminism that only pays attention to the needs of white, cisgender women. Women of color, trans women, gender nonconforming individuals, people who are differently abled, people with learning differences, and LGBTQ women face challenges that are unique to them. But when marginalized groups are not actively represented in feminist movements, their challenges and needs are not being addressed. They are not being given a voice for the discrimination they face.

I think that we have the potential to undergo an amazing cultural shift. Inclusion and acceptance of people of all genders, giving everyone the opportunities they need to be safe and productive in society, this can only lead to a more open-minded and compassionate world. Compassion seems like a simple concept, but our society makes it complicated. This virtue needs to be at the heart of what we do. Words matter. Ideas matter. The way we treat each other matters. Striving for a gender equality that is inclusive, while acknowledging the needs of specific demographics, can be one of the most important things our society does as a whole.

I Believe

we-can-do-it_pixabay

Source: Pixabay.com

 

I believe women should have access to all their healthcare needs

I believe that love is love is love is love is love

I believe we need to make room at the table for people of all genders

I believe equality is not a pipe dream, but a necessity

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We are stronger when we stand together

We have clarity when we work toward what we want

There is goodness and kindness and light inside each of us

I believe that those who believe they can make the world better, will.

 

I See You

My dear women

Who are worried their health rights

Are threatened, I see you

My dear trans kids who are worried

They won’t be protected or accepted

I see you

My dear LGBTQ community

Who feels scared or discriminated against

I see you

My dear Muslims who feel unsafe

Or judged, I see you

My dear people of color, who feel this world

Does not love them enough, I see you

My dear misfits

Who feel judged for being different

Who feel the brokenness of a system

That leaves them feeling not good enough,

Not heard enough, not cared for enough

I see you

I care about you, I Am You

Our ancestors before us fought for equality

And we will continue that fight

Because we are here, we matter, and we belong

If you feel invisible, powerless, or scared

I see you

I love you, and I have hope.

The Truth About Modern Racism

Some people believe that racism

No longer exists

Because they themselves don’t practice hate

They have friends who are minorities, and therefore don’t discriminate

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They look around at their brothers and sisters

Who share their privilege

And see that they are not racists

So, in their eyes, there is no racism here

.

And yes, perspectives have changed

As police brutality has been brought to light

As new news to the media, but old news to us

This is the worst, and yet our issues go further

.

As a person of color

I know that if I had been born a few generations earlier

I would have been a slave

That fact rests in your subconscious from a very early age

.

I know in the back of my mind

That in the present, the ripples from our history remain

And I know that I am less likely to get the job

And I am less likely get accepted in my school of choice

.

The same way I know that as a woman

I am less likely to get the higher paycheck

And I am less likely to get the job as a CEO

These facts do not hinder, but still they remain

.

And because movements for equality

Such as feminism and LGBT Pride

Often leaves people of color off to the side

By failing to give them representation

.

This is not a placement of blame or an accusation

I just know I’ve read that trans women of color

Suffer too much violence and discrimination

Yet their voices are not heard more often

.

I can enjoy the most popular movies and YA novels

And be part of a passionate fandom

While knowing the heroes and heroines I admire so much

Will probably not look like me

.

And it may seem trivial to complain about a movie

But we live in a world of so much diversity

It’s a shame we don’t see more of the diverse beauty

That exists in varying degrees of cultural identity

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No person of color is unaware

Of the fact that we don’t have true equality

I am aware that I have been blessed with opportunity

But this is not true for everyone in my community

.

The truth is, there is a struggle for every minority

We know that we do not yet have true equality

The point is not to draw a line that divides you and me

But for everyone to become aware of this reality

.

Minorities are not meant to be tolerated

This world is not merely the property of the majority

This world was made for all of us, we all belong here

To live in harmony, to have equality, and to live without fear.

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#Poetry