On last Sunday, a group of teen girls spoke about #blackgirlhood, during the Uniquely You Summit‘s #WhatIKnowNow Brunch for women and girls.

#blackgirlhood panel

Meet the panelists: Moderator Khanya Brann (EIC of #fortheloveofblackgirls, Victoria Pannell (16) Known for her work fighting child sex trafficking, Leah Boyd (19) Leukemia survivor, Jazlyn Crawford (16) activist and world traveler, Noor Bowman (14) dedicated to breaking down religious, cultural and gender barriers for all minority girls.

During the conversation, they addressed topics like: cultural appropriation, the Spring Valley student who was video taped being assaulted by a police officer, the angry black woman stereotype, Raven Symone, being the first or “only,” the obsession their generation seems to have with creating mixed babies and what life is like for each of them as black girls. Here’s some of what they had to say:

On being labeled an #angryblackwoman 

“You should never silence yourself for fear of a label.”

On leadership & being the 1st or being the “only”

“We should be comforted by each other but we shouldn’t be limited by our comfort.”

On social media obsession with creating #mixedbabies 

“It’s sad. There shouldn’t be such an obsession w/being mixed.”

On role models 

“We look to celebrities to be our role models when we don’t even celebrate our own role models in our communities like that.”

“You see it in IG bios all the time – it says #teammixed or #teamlightskinned. How about #teamyou? It’s desheartening.”

On sharing their truths, even if they are different, as black women

“Everybody’s #truth is their own. Stopping putting your hurt on someone else.” The key is to seek similarities & be open.

On black beauty

“We have to start accepting each other for who we are in our own communities before others can accept that black is beautiful.”

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Shout out to all the confident & courageous black girls! The world needs more of what you’ve got! Never stop speaking up & believing in the power of your own voice. Never stop sharing!