As we stood on top of the dock at the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, all seven adults gathered for a picture. From my right, I hear Ms. Brittini say to my niece, Michaela, “Let me pick you up so you can be seen.” She picked up my niece and all were able to be seen for the picture.

When Ms. Brittini made the statement to Michaela, it opened a corridor in my heart. In a flash, I thought, “Don’t we all just want to be seen?” and I was reminded of Shug Avery’s thought, even the color purple wants to be loved. Shug Avery, from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, reminds us that everyone and everything—big and small, wants to see and be seen, love and be loved.

Sadly, although my niece was standing right beside me, I couldn’t see her. I can only imagine her peering through the criss-cross metal fence trying to be seen. But, thankfully, while I turned toward the camera, Ms. Brittini remembered and lifted Michaela. How grateful I am for the community who not only remembered my niece, but also lifted her, so that she could be seen even when I was distracted.

This is what loving Black girls looks like—lifting them, so they can be seen, heard, loved, and celebrated.

Ms. Brittini’s statement reminded me of five things:

  1. We all just want to be seen and loved.
  2. Remember and lift Black girls, especially the little ones.
  3. It takes a village to raise our children.
  4. Sometimes we have to lift other people, so we all can see and be seen.
  5. Being surrounded by a caring and loving community is critical for our growth and development, helping us gain insight on things we may have overlooked.

When was the last time you lifted someone so they could see and be seen?

A child?

A little Black girl?


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