Growing up, I grew an appreciation for who I am as Black person. My mother bought me beautiful Black baby dolls and taught me the beauty of becoming a Black woman. She made me proud to be brown-skinned and gave me a sense of empowerment for the richness of my skin tone. I taught myself to see the beauty in my big forehead, wide hips, my full lips and coarse hair. I celebrate the wins of my Black brothers and sisters often and live vicariously through my friends’ victories. Everyday, I take pride in my heritage and the authenticity of being Black. I am just being me and have never felt more free. As Pastor Kim Outlaw of Living Water Fellowship Church stated in this week’s sermon,
She is absolutely right. While I earn money for the services I provide as a makeup artist, the freedom to express myself, dress myself, and be myself is invaluable. I have the pleasure of sharing this pride with my clients of all shades and tones. I can help them learn to love themselves as they are everyday by just being themselves.
As I mature, I appreciate that occurrences in my life come with purposeful circulation. The dreams that I have, often come into fruition through the manner of which they were conceived. The small goals that I accomplish typically lead me to the next big endeavor in what feels like a natural progression. Simply stated, everything comes full circle.
In January, I was hired to assist as a makeup artist on set for a McDonald’s Commercial. The commercial was for their 365Black campaign recognizing the 2016 Black History Makers of Today and Tomorrow. With the pleasure of meeting Black owner/operators, mid-managers, staff members, community leaders and this year’s scholarship recipient, I also worked on this project with Black makeup artists, hairstylists, videographers and marketing representatives. Each bringing his or her own valuable piece to the pie. The collective effort came out beautifully and again, it was full circle.
After meeting Alexis Barnett, the 2016 Ronald McDonald House Charities African-American Future Achiever, I remembered that I was the scholarship recipient my senior year of high school. I remember being ecstatic that something I loved to do, writing, was deemed valuable enough to earn me opportunities. Fast forward to 2016, I am on set doing something else I love to do (makeup). Taking it a step further, I had the chance to tap into my journalistic roots by informally interviewing Mrs. Pamela Poore, Ms. Laurie Henry and Mrs. Vanessa Moore as I did their makeup. I felt everything coming full circle yet again.
I was invited to speak at the brunch honoring these wonderful leaders. Seeing how these beautiful women impact their communities every day and build their legacy, I am inspired to do more to become a Black History Maker. It was the first time since 2011 that I stood in front of a crowd and spoke publicly. Though I stumbled over a few words, the message I shared was one of encouragement and progression… the freedom to be and the audacity to become limitless. I challenged those in attendance to tap into their abilities.
I am accepting my own challenge to become a dominant force in the beauty industry, yielding profitable results. As it applies to this field, I have the potential to innovate like Madame C.J. Walker. I have the knowledge to assist others in business education like Annie Turbo Malone. I have the capacity to influence aspiring beauty professionals as Madame NA Franklin did. I have the desire to create a new lane in the publishing world and an avenue for makeup artists and women as Mrs. Eunice Johnson created. I have the authority to make bold proclamations like the talented model and artist, Ashley Chew with her “Black Models Matter” movement.
As this year's Black History month comes to a close, the time to be Black History is now. Commit to yourself to be not only a history maker, but simply limitless. Dream. Try. Fail. Breathe. Live. Work. Play. Watch it all come full circle.