I always thought my black wasn't beautiful. I went through the public school system in a predominantly white school system and I always believed white/lighter skin was the standard of beauty I wasn't allowed to be a part of. Over the years as I watched in horror along with the rest of the world of yet another black or brown child/adult being killed in the streets I began to really tap into what being black means to me. No matter what when I leave my house every morning I am a black woman - its a skin I can't take off. It's a skin I don't want to take off. I look at my nieces and nephew and just imagine how hard it'll be once they leave their protected bubble and venture out into the world that doesn't take kindly to those with skin the color of ours but I plan to show them that their black is beautiful and magnificent and to not ever feel shame for the melanin we posses. 

We are black. We are beautiful. We are proud. 

I used to think my black wasn't beautiful. But today, my melanin is pawwwwwpin!