m e l a n i n s u n f l o w e r

I used to walk into rooms like my mother taught me. Chin up head held high. She said My beauty will persuade even the mountains to move, the birds and the bees would all step aside.

I'd walk into fields and the grasses would billow - making way for my precious steps. I've walked this way many times yet have never seen these wild flowers grow.

Stable stalks meet a weeping neck collapsing under its own beauty. I'd watch them crane to the sun and spill down again. Waiting until they were beckoned once more by the curiosity of morning glow. Autumn came and my head still held high My feet parting the wild wheat that grows I'd stomp away squirrels waiting in the wings to feast My reflexes too slow and the will of seasons to strong All that remained were stalks dried and creased No downpour of tears or sunburst sky would make them return Beauty lost is hardly forgotten I'd learned I walked out of that field withered and burned Having found nothing just as beautiful as me.

Andréa Montoya


d o m o n i q u e

"Being a black woman in this society is interesting. There are already so many opinions of what the black woman is like before a person even meets her. It's cool to watch simple minds open when I show them my version of a black woman."

c h r i s t i n e

In today's society, I feel like black women are beginning to elevate and realize our worth and truth. Now more than ever we are breaking down the doors and creating opportunities that were once seen as impossible.

m o c a

I feel like I'm a stranger sometimes to society, but I feel honored as well. It's hard being black and feeling like you have to fit the black stereotype when you just want to be yourself. Yet I also feel honored to be apart of a race that cares so much for unity, justice and fighting for whats right.

c h a z n e y

Even though there is so much racial tension currently in our world, there is such a push in the black community for women of color to come together and celebrate each other. “Black girl magic” is being championed and now we can see more black women owning businesses, building brands, embracing their natural beauty, and setting positive examples for the next generation of melanin beauties. I’m extremely proud to be a black woman in today’s society. We are strong, bold, beautiful and continue to rise above the odds stacked against us.

a j

A sunflower grows from her stalk. Daily, one side grows as her neck bends towards the sunrise and as the sun sets, the other side of the stalk grows. The only way a sunflower can develop is by sticking her neck out again and again. and again. Being a melanin sunflower is a learning experience. Sometimes what feels like survival---understanding what society says about you and facing who you really are. Yet embracing the precious essence that comes with not only being a woman of color, but being a beautiful, black woman. because there is a specific difference. There are no few words that can describe our struggles but with this, I encourage you to have the conversation. Talk about race and beauty. Be open-minded. and if you're a women reading this, just be you.

till next week,

Andie & AJ

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