Happy New Year!
This post marks the one year anniversary of the Double-Latte Project. I started this project as a way to give back in a small way and to highlight some great organizations and people in my corner of the internet. In 2011, I focused on the following three areas: Women & Politics, Public and Independent Media and people in my network. In 2012, I will be focusing on the 2012 Election, People of Color and Women and Girls and to start year two, this month’s Double-Latte selection is:
Why Highlight BLACK GIRLS ROCK!?
When I think about the issues that are important to me, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! encompasses many of them in one space. As a Black woman, it is really important to me to see positive images of black girls and women and all women really – especially women of color. However, looking to the history of the United States and the problems that people of color have had too many times Black girls, women and bodies have been looked at in a negative manner i.e., Hottentot Venus and Video Vixens. Organizations like BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and the various programs they have to support the positive growth of Black girls works to push back against historical negative stereotypes about Black girls and women.
When I was a kid, I was blessed to be involved in organizations like Jack and Jill and even participate in a local sorority’s debutante program where I learned many of the skills that are being offered by BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Additionally, my parents were educators who stressed the importance of giving back and worked to bring tutoring programs and other needs to marganized neighborhoods in my area. When I was older though, I saw how programs like those offered by BLACK GIRLS ROCK! were not as widespread as the programs for girls from my economic class and above. And I wished that these programs could be more widespread. Because from my perspective as a kid, a teen and even now adult, programs available to Black girls from “lower” income backgrounds were and are similar to the programs my parents worked on – focused on tutoring and college prep. Though these programs are indeed necessary and need to be continued and expanded, as well, so are the types of programs and activities being offered by debutante programs, Jack and Jill and well BLACK GIRLS ROCK! So when I started the Double-latte Project, I knew I had to find a way to highlight BLACK GIRLS ROCK!
Moving beyond class, as a smart and quirky Black girl, I suffered self-esteem issues because I was different from the stereotypes of what it meant to be “Black” and I was teased because of it. As a girl, I played volleyball and the viola…not activities that aligned with the “being Black” list of acceptable activities. However, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! has opportunities for Black girls to gain an appreciation and love for all sorts of activities many that are not on the acceptable list of “being Black” activities like going to Broadway plays and going to overnight camp which I think is fantastic!
I love that BLACK GIRLS ROCK! has a writing program and DJing workshops. In addition to expanding the opportunities for healthy personal growth for all Black girls I love how their programs expand ideas around what Black girls are able to do and like to do. And this is why I am highlighting BLACK GIRLS ROCK! as a Double-Latte Selection!
About BLACK GIRLS ROCK!
According to their website, BLACK GIRLS ROCK!:
is 501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.
Additionally, for the last two years BLACK GIRLS ROCK! have received national attention through the broadcasting of an awards show on the BET network.