During my high school years, my mother started going to a church in West Philly. And by West Philly I mean Will Smith, West Philadelphia born and raised, West Philly. This was the biggest culture shock to me as I was raised in Somerdale, NJ. Somerdale is exactly what it sounds like. The most suburban place you could possibly grow up. I remember Tia came up for my mom's 60th birthday party and got to drive around my white picket fenced hometown. "Woooow" she said. "This explains SO much." Anyway, the culture shock of going to a church in the inner city was an experience I wouldn't trade for the world but I definitely would trade those tears I shed due to being so different and teased for the proper way I spoke and the way I dressed. There are only a handful of people in this world that understand the stress of being a black teenager who acts too black for some people (namely white classmates) and too white according to some members of their own race. It can be heartbreaking and that is why I can identify all too well with the tears at 1:57 of that video.
I am happy to say that I am now in a place where I love, understand and appreciate all those things about me that make me "different". It's been so evident time and time again how being a little outside the box as far as people's expectations of what's "black", has been a part of God's grand design. However, there are plenty of girls and women out there that haven't gotten to that place of self acceptance. I really hope this film gives them the affirmation they need to love and accept themselves.
I don't know the director of this film,Melissa Lowery, but I am so proud of her having the guts to put this subject matter to film. I urge everyone who reads this blog who has shared this experience to please support her to get this film completed. See the video below to find out how you can become a backer of the documentary on Kickstarter.