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You Have a Lot Going for You

“It was when I realized I needed to stop trying to be somebody else and be myself, I actually started to own, accept and love what I had.”

Tracee Ellis Ross, American actress, model, comedian, director, and television host

Dear Badass Black Girl,

You think I don’t know you, but I do. I see you when your face is stretched by a smile—when you make those around you feel like they are the only people you’ve ever truly smiled at. But I’ve also seen your face when you clamp your lips as if you could trap your sadness inside. And there is a story there—beginning, middle, and end—all laid out within the curves of your mouth. I see you with more possibilities than you could ever imagine.

Unless they get in the way of the talents you do have, please don’t waste time focusing on the talents you don’t have. Don’t even seek to improve them (maybe later). Don’t obsess over your flaws. How many hours will you spend furiously perfecting scales on the piano before you realize playing music is not your forte? Not everyone is Hazel Scott or Nina Simone. You don’t have to be on the dance team if it’s not your thing. You don’t have to know the lyrics to the latest Cardi B. or Nicky Minaj song. You don’t have to be fluent in Spanish. You don’t have to make a mean bread pudding.

Stop trying to be someone else—the girl your friends, your boyfriend, your teachers, or your parents want you to be. Instead, cultivate YOUR strengths. Be YOU. Don’t expect your flaws to fall from you like dried-up flakes of skin. If you’re not meant to do something, let it go. All your life, you’ve been told that you need to get better at what you’re not good at and don’t care about. It may be true that it’s good to try new things out, and that we surprise ourselves when we learn something new, but your time is better served when you focus on what you already do well.

You have so many talents. Prioritize them. You may not know exactly what these talents are—and that’s okay.

You’ll figure it out, and this book will help you.

In the meantime, you don’t have to prove yourself to others. You can’t dance. So, what? Slow dance, low dance, and fast dance like no one’s watching. Do it because the groove hits your spine and moves you in a certain direction. You can’t sing? So what? Belt out Beyoncé, croon to Aretha Franklin (R-E-S-P-E-C-T), and swoon to Alicia Keys with all the strength your off-key voice can muster. Play your music loudly, so the bass thumps in your heart and makes your chest feel like it’s alive. Because it is.

Kenbe (Be strong),


Publishers Weekly Select Title for Young Readers ─ A Daily Dose of Inspiration for Badass Black Girls

Explore the many facets of your identity through hundreds of big and small questions. MJ Fievre tackles topics such as family and friends, school and careers, body image, and stereotypes in this journal designed for teenage girls. By reflecting on these topics, readers confront the issues that can hold them back from living their lives.

Embrace authenticity and celebrate who you are. Finding the courage to live as you are is not easy, so here’s a journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, self-motivation, and positive self-awareness. This journal celebrates girl power and honors the strength and spirit of black girls.

Change the way you view the world. This journal provides words of encouragement that seek not just to inspire, but to ignite discussion and debate about the world. Girls, especially, are growing up in a world that tries to tell them how to look and act. MJ Fievre encourages readers to fight the flow and determine for themselves who they want to be.

Reading Badass Black Girl: Quotes, Questions, and Affirmations for Teens will help you:

  • Build and boost your self-esteem with powerful affirmations.

  • Learn more about yourself through intensive and insightful journaling.

  • Resist the mold that outside opinions have put into place, and become comfortable and confident in embracing your authentic self.


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