Lorraine K. McCall is the Author and self-taught Artist of The Color of A Black Girl: Poetry, Prose & Visual Art. A compilation of words assigned to various mediums of art ranging from accrylic paintings to graphically altered photographs that depict her journey to date as an African American woman. Her book is the catalyst for her upcoming tea bag workshop entitled The Crayon Girls Draw & Write With offered to girls age 10 and older as well as women. She dedicates this book to Black Girls that are in search of their voice and are beginning to define and create their own tangents in life.
Between the Blues that leaned on the walls of my mother’s bedroom and hung on the hangers attached to clothes, I knew in the third grade that it did not represent me. I requesting oranges, yellows, and reds for the following school year. While Blue was the only color to be seen at every turn, Black was the color spoken and assigned to me “Black Girl”, by the lips of my grandfather.
How was I to know what it meant if his words never confessed what he saw within my inner child? Who are Black Girls’ who are named by people they love? Who do Black Girls’ become in a world that seems uninterested in our plight not to be defined but merely just be? Who affirms Black Girls’ beauty and promotes their self-worth? Where do you find a Black Girl that is not in search for understanding or reflections that look like she? What does a Black Girl sound like in a crowded room? Does she even recognize her own voice?
My grandfather would never know my nickname would cause me to climb on top of the bathroom sink to study the pigment of my face in the mirror. Only later to compare my physical attributes to all the girls in my fifth grade class and declare myself ugly. It would be my reason not to smile and the reason to shy away from being the center of attention. Before the day I confidently spoke my disposition, it was words attached to paper that kept me safe, sound and ensured that I didn’t go missing at least not from myself. It became crucial for me to take heed to all that influenced me directly and indirectly. In order to move beyond the blacks, blues, pinks… spaces, faces of strangers who had no idea of the weight Black Girls’ carry when wanting to be more than what they are.
It would take ten years for me to discover that this name was given in recognition of what was within and out, when my grandfather proclaimed me “Queen of Sheba” before all I love and all who loved me. I am writing to say let us celebrate what Franz Fanon calls the “ability to absorb the effluvia of the universe”. Let us restore the bonds of Black Girls’ born to men named Arizona or birth sons we call AC or Sims. Let us not mistaken our color for anything less than Black Gold. So this book is for all the little and growing Black Girls that will one day become who ever they decide. This book is to affirm the beauty that lies within as well as out. For I only want to speak of the relevance of our physical and spiritual person who both have the need to beam brightly.