The Happy Black Girl
Yes. We are real.
No. Not in a unicorns and four leaf clovers kinda way.
Wait, I’ve gotten too far ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
For years I’ve battled the stigma of being a happy sista. Now you might not think there’s a stigma attached to it, but I’m here to tell you different. People (including our own) give happy sistas the once over often. I’ve been asked by several people, both male and female if I’m for real. In my youth I answered, in adulthood, I hit them folks with the Kanye shrug and let em find out for themselves. It is constant struggle proving to others and then yourself that being positive does not equal being weak or naive. To the contrary. I live this way because of, not in spite of all those comments. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t sayin I don’t have to act up from time to time, who doesn’t? I’m merely saying that most mornings you will find me happy to be alive and not being ashamed to admit it to anyone within earshot. But sometimes, that was a lonely planet to live on.
Then one day Starr Lopez happened into my life. We met in 2007 at the suggestion of mutual friend, Armen Nalbandian. We’ve been inseparable ever since. She truly is my HBG Soulmate. While in the company of others it is often assumed that we’ve been friends since childhood. We finish one another’s sentences, carry Waxpoetics in our hand bags, sing the same songs as if on cue, appreciate shared silence and most importantly we support one another in all that we do! That’s how this all started, actually.
In 2009 I stumbled upon something amazing. Writer Sista Toldja (Jamilah Lemieux) had come up with a concept titled Happy Black Girl Day. I could hardly contain myself. There it was for all the world to see, someone had created something about black women that I could finally relate to. I wanted to share it on the book, but I needed an image to go with the content so I quickly decided to do a Google Image search. What I found was a smackerel of images and half a dozen crudely designed versions of caricatures and stereotypes. It was so unbelievably bad that an idea was born. Neither of us knew anything about the blogosphere so we just sat on everything. Until now…
We feel charged to do this now because the time is ripe! We’ve each had lifestyle changes that have allowed us to reflect on what we’ve accomplished thus far in our lives. That personal aesthetic that makes folks feel both comfortable and proud to be a part of, has long been absent in both our work experiences and sometimes even in the circles we roll in. It’s hard to find a piece of yourself when you feel invisible. We’ve found ourselves in one another and we’ve blossomed because of it. We want others to understand they too can have that, even if for a moment, it’s possible. We two are proof!
We still don’t know much about blogs, but we do know we’re still painfully underrepresented and want to offer an alternative. So here we are.
Devoya Mayo, Starr Lopez and Valerie Scott are The Happy Black Girls. Three Soul Sisters tired of the marginal representation of well- rounded sisters everywhere.
The Happy Black Girl: An Arts & Culture Website dedicated to seeking, creating and sharing new ways to celebrate the happy.
The Happy Black Girl does not seek to devalue the many facets of cultural representation, only to offer an alternative. The Happy Black Girl promise includes creating & sharing ideas, information, stories and projects that inspire and encourage action.