to the one black girl in the room, i’m sorry. i’m sorry this letter even applies to you. i’m sorry the name and address i have for you are correct, i wish they weren’t. i’m sorry you have no one to walk with into that room, and i’m sorry you are alone in such a crowded place. i’m sorry you don’t have any queens in your corner telling you how good your hair looks today and that your outfit’s on point. the only people who are there talk to you with their eyes. eyes, and maybe even a smile. smile saying one thing, and mind saying another; i don’t know which is worse. maybe, if you’re lucky enough, or if you’re unlucky enough, she’ll use her words. i don’t know which is better. but don’t give karen and her bestie becky the satisfaction of the wheels behind your eyes turning trying to grind up their coarse, grainy, words to decipher what their eyes were trying but not brave enough to say. they don’t deserve your brainpower, just like your willpower told them to use their own to maybe once in their privileged history build something from the ground up for themselves. girl you tell her with your eyes not to call you with her whispers a bitch just because you stand up straight cause your back was whipped into shape and bounced back arched, still knowing where you stand. don’t let her tell you lookin down her nose to put your head down any lower than the crown of hers, she’s just salty the only crown she wears on her freshly-trimmed, pixie-cut is anatomical, and queen you got yours off the head of a lioness and still wear the scars to prove it. don’t you dare let that salon-going weekly trim straight-outta-catalogs haircut make you think yo fro is too much. honey, she only tells you with her sassy arched eyebrows that your hair’s too big cause since she ain’t been told her whole life to hold her head high like she knows who she is, her neck ain’t strong enough to bear the weight. to the one black girl in the room, you walk in there like you own the joint cause you are a queen. Karen wouldn’t know one if she saw one cause they lied and told her she was what they looked like.
i would've prefaced this letter with a disclaimer, but the one black girl in the room doesn't need one, and this letter is for her. the title of this letter makes the addressee undeniable, because even if you aren't her, you know who she is. you've seen her, maybe even met her. so if you have, maybe pass this along, forward the letter. and if you're her, well, you have another queen in your corner.