“The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
– Malcolm X
Every weekday morning before school I wake up at four-fifteen to write and prepare for the day ahead of me. It’s a ritual that I’ve started to do every day since I made the decision to chase success. However, one particular morning a few weeks ago broke my pattern. I decided to log on to my Facebook, something I try my best not to do in the morning. And what I saw frustrated me to no end.
One of my Facebook friends shared a video from WorldStarHipHop of young black high school students declaring how much they hated being black. Several participants in the video even went as far as to denounce they were black. It was sickening to me! I immediately turned off in a frustrated haste. Why did it seem like I was fighting an uphill battle? Since slavery, the myth of black inferiority has been programmed in the minds of Africans worldwide. After viewing a few minutes of that video, I asked myself, “How am I possibly going to fight against that negative mindset?”
Then I went to my Wattpad.com profile.
At the time, I just hit 18,000 reads for my first novel “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson” and my publisher had just sent me an updated version of my book contract. I quickly came to the realization that my mission isn’t to become a one man army against the black inferiority complex that plagues the majority of our youth today. No, my mission is to educate, inspire and enlighten. If I successfully do that, the people under my realm of influence would readily want to liberate their minds from the chains of colorism and inferiority!
My first novel, The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson, is a perfect example of my efforts. It chronicles the life of Aaliyah Anderson, a beautiful, intelligent, ambitious thirteen-year old young woman trying to chase her dreams of success in the negative environment of Willowsfield, GA. Throughout the story she faces and overcomes problems that plague many young people such as good-for-nothing teachers, haters, gang violence and continuous acts of infidelity. The book even touches on Black history and problems that plague the black community, among other topics. I like to regard The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson as a fiction, non-fiction book hybrid. It has the informative, eye-opening content of a classic non-fiction book and the fast paced, page turning drama of a mainstream novel.
“My name is Aaliyah Anderson. I’m thirteen and the only girl out of the four children my mother and father had together before they got divorced. I’m ambitious and have big dreams for myself. On the low, I really wanna be the head of a company, T.V network or something like that one day. Maybe a college professor like my Aunt Vanessa or even an actress! Maybe all those combined together!
“I’m not being arrogant or boastful, but I’m beautiful. My skin is flawless shade of mocha brown. There are no blemishes in site. My teeth are perfectly straight and white. My hair is kinky and I love it! I don’t do perms, weaves or wigs. I experiment with all the different natural hair styles all the time. Today, I have it styled in a cascading French roll. People say I favor Janelle Monae and Lauryn Hill because of my skin tone, sense of style and height.”
-Aaliyah Anderson, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”
I created the prolific character of Aaliyah Anderson based on the select few outstanding young black women that I see on a regular basis. It’s truly a shame that there were only a select few that I had to draw inspiration from. It’s no lie that there is a large population of young black women that need to step their games up when it comes to how they carry themselves. Many have conformed to the image that they see on reality T.V. shows every night and its driven BMB (Business Minded Brothers) like me crazy!
The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson is a celebration of young women handling their business. Keep doing your thing! Don’t let anyone stand in your way! J It’s also a call-to-action for young women that are conforming to the constrictions put on them by this sexist, racist, European centered society that we live in.
It’s 2014! We need our young women to start carrying themselves with honor and self-respect. Law thirty-four of The 48 Laws of Power states:
“BE ROYAL IN YOUR OWN FASHION: ACT LIKE A KING (or Queen) TO BE TREATED LIKE ONE
The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated: In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king (queen) respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.”
I hope this is taken into consideration moving forward. Young women, now is the time to carry yourself like a queen! We need the Aaliyah Anderson’s of the black community to make themselves known. You’re needed now more than ever!
Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? Do you want to join the focus group for my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:
Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad! It’s dropping soon!