BKMT READING GUIDES

Dear Black Girl: Letters From Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power
by Tamara Harris Winfrey

Published: 2021-03-09T00:0
Paperback : 192 pages
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A valuable combination of encouragement, empowerment, and instruction.”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Dear Black Girl is the empowering, affirming love letter our girls need in order to thrive in a world that does not always protect, nurture, or celebrate us. This collection of ...

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Introduction

A valuable combination of encouragement, empowerment, and instruction.”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Dear Black Girl is the empowering, affirming love letter our girls need in order to thrive in a world that does not always protect, nurture, or celebrate us. This collection of Black women's voices... is a must-read, not only for Black girls, but for everyone who cares about Black girls, and for Black women whose inner-Black girl could use some healing." - Tarana Burke, Founder of the 'Me Too' Movement

"Dear Dope Black Girl, You don't know me, but I know you. I know you because I am you! We are magic, light, and stars in the universe." So begins a letter that Tamara Winfrey Harris received as part of her Letters to Black Girls project, where she asked black women to write honest, open, and inspiring letters of support to young black girls aged thirteen to twenty-one. Her call went viral, resulting in a hundred personal letters from black women around the globe that cover topics such as identity, self-love, parents, violence, grief, mental health, sex, and sexuality.

In Dear Black Girl, Winfrey Harris organizes a selection of these letters, providing "a balm for the wounds of anti-black-girlness" and modeling how black women can nurture future generations. Each chapter ends with a prompt encouraging girls to write a letter to themselves, teaching the art of self-love and self-nurturing. Winfrey Harris's The Sisters Are Alright explores how black women must often fight and stumble their way into alrightness after adulthood. Dear Black Girl continues this work by delivering pro-black, feminist, LGBTQ positive, and body positive messages for black women-to-be--and for the girl who still lives inside every black woman who still needs reminding sometimes that she is alright.

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Discussion Questions

Black Girl Magic
What are your identities? (Ex. You might say, I identify as a Black biracial queer Southern girl.)
Do you value some of your identities more than others?
Which of your identities do you think other people value?
How does what you value compare with what society values?
If you are a girl, how can Black women demonstrate to you that they value your complete identity?

If (For Real) Takes A Village
What is family to you?
What do you love about your family?
What do you wish were different about your family?
What do other people think about your family?

Where My Girls At?
How do you know a friend is good for you?
Have you ever lost a friend? What happened?
Are you a good friend? Why?
How do you know when you can trust another girl as a friend?

Work, Work, Work
What activities bring you joy? (It’s okay not to know)
What goals do you have for the future?
If you are a girl, how can Black women support you in finding out/achieving your personal goals?

I Didn’t Ask For This
Tell me about the hardest thing you have ever faced.*
If something bad happened to you or if you made a big mistake, what would you need to feel safe talking to me about it?
Do you need my help?

*In intergenerational groups, adults should answer this question before asking a girl to answer.

Black Girl, Interrupted

Most of us are good at knowing when we're not okay physically, it is harder sometimes to know whether we are emotionally and mentally well.*
 
How do you know when you are not okay?
How do you know when you are okay?
What are the signs that tell you that you need help?

*In intergenerational groups, adults should take the lead on these questions.

Boo’d Up
What have you learned from other girls/women about sex?*
What do you know about your reproductive parts? What would you like to know?
What do you know about sex? What would you like to know?
What do you know about preventing pregnancy and STDs? What would you like to know?

* In intergenerational groups, Adults should take the lead on these questions.

Girl, Listen…?
What is the best advice you’ve ever received from a Black women or girl?
What is the best advice you would give a Black girl?
What advice will you take away from Dear Black Girl?
How can I best support you?

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