“I talk with power in my voice and I love the mind that I possess. Over the years my beautiful ancestors have taught me how to progress I love the power in my heart and the willingness I have to fight for what’s right.” A poem by an anonymous author entitled Beautiful Black girls.
Filled with passion and pride the words of the author evoke a feeling of empowerment. Considering the following statistics words and actions of encouragement for out young girls are critical:
Studies show that homicide rates are higher among African American girls between the ages of 10 and 24.Pregnancy rates, school suspension rates and depression rates are also reported higher than their counterparts. Amongst youth who are feeling depressed or unimportant I found one common theme, they feel as if they do not have a voice. One Milwaukee teen decided to not only be the voice, but provide a platform for others to speak as well.
On January 23rd,18 year old Bria Smith was selected as the President of Milwaukee’s youth council, just a month after her 18th birthday. Smith, no stranger to speaking engagements had this to say,
“I am excited to organize and mobilize within my community, reforming policies and unifying youth from all groups.”
An impressive feat to achieve by itself, but Smith has been forceful voice for the youth for years speaking around the world, and most recently at the Woman’s March of Wisconsin.
Using her voice and influences to motivate others started the Honey for your tea website to give young women a place to express their experiences with oppression.
Truly a remarkable young lady, in a world where social media influences all aspects of our youth as an unofficial guidebook, Bria is changing the narrative on how the story should be written. Congratulations madam President.