Today, race and gender intersectionality writer Tamara Winfrey Harris released her second book Dear Black Girl: Letters from Your Sisters on Stepping into Your Power under Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
The book includes a collection of candid, well-written and articulated letters from over 30 Black female leaders and public figures including Afrobella.com creator Patrice Grell Yursik and Me Too Movement founder Tarana Burke. Dear Black Girl encompasses feminist, anti-racist, body positive, LGBTQ+ positive and non-homophobic, and anti-respectability politics notions throughout the content that are these pro-Black letters from Black women to Black girls who want to feel, and yet already are, seen. Each chapter concludes with a writing prompt encouraging girls pen a letter to themselves, which will in turn allows these young women to practice self-love and self-awareness.
“More than a year ago, I asked some Black women on social media for twelve letters to give to a group of Black girls in a workshop. Black women really showed up for Black girls!,” Winfrey Harris told ESSENCE. “My call went viral and instead of twelve letters, I got more than fifty from all over the world. I read the first one and cried. I knew this effort had to be a movement instead of a moment.” With yesterday being International Women’s Day, Winfrey Harris recognizes the timeliness of the book release during Women’s History Month, especially as a piece of literature that “centers the Black femme experience and prioritizes our girls feeling loved.”
Burke sung her praises of the compilation of letters by Winfrey Harris, appointing it as “the empowering, affirming love letter our girls need in order to thrive in a world that does not always protect, nurture, or celebrate us.” Winfrey Harris tells ESSENCE that Burke has always been supportive of her work, including serving as the host of her first book in 2015, The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America. Though she doesn’t have a letter in the book, Burke selflessly offered her endorsement.
“I’ve heard her share the story about witnessing a girl talk about sexual assault and wishing that she had said to the girl “me too.” In Dear Black Girl, Black women do just that–they talk to Black girls about our shared experiences, including having dark brown skin or being raised by grandparents or discovering gender identity or surviving sexual assault or simply learning to love ourselves,” Winfrey Harris said.
Dear Black Girl is available for purchase on Amazon and is available in paperback, audiobook and Kindle.