I am from a small town where everybody knows everything about everybody. If something happens, within five minutes, everyone in town knows the “not so truth” about it. By the time the story reaches others it has been twisted all the way around. Yes, I am from a small town.
There wasn’t much to do when I moved back there from Atlanta, GA so I made it a point to start creating my own happiness. My children were bored and so was I. I believe in being happy so I create my own happiness.
I went to the drawing board and talked with my children, husband and those in the community to get some ideas on what I could do. I first started off by doing natural hair workshops. I really enjoy helping others who are on a natural hair journey. I am very passionate about it.
I then began to branch outside of my comfort zone. I purposely do things to keep me out of my comfort zone because I like to grow and attract what I want through my energy/vibration. I talk with people all the time about energy and vibration and they look at me crazy but by the end of our conversation they completely understand that your energy will attract those things that will make you happy.
I finally created something outside of a workshop which was a pageant for African American girls and it was an empowerment pageant. This pageant was created because my daughter wanted to be in one and she had friends who felt like they wouldn’t win competing against other races. This is very unfortunate as no child should ever feel as though they don’t have a chance against someone with a lighter skin tone. I removed that factor and created an all ethnic pageant to encourage these girls to love the skin they are in and to embrace themselves for who they are.
1st Annual Black Beauty Kuties Empowerment Pageant 2015
Watch The Slideshow on YouTube:
Although it was a challenge to get everything in order, we still had a great time.
Organizing an event can be challenging within itself but when you have a lot of negative talk in the community (for no reason) about you then receiving support is slim to none. If you are black in our community receiving support is slim to none (from your own race). Let’s just keep it real. I am a person who has a huge heart and doesn’t cause chaos in people’s lives and I still had to deal with negative talk about my character. I heard things that I couldn’t believe but it is expected in a town so small.
I tried to raise money for the event by selling raffle tickets for $1 and some people wouldn’t even give me that. I later learned that they were questioning if I were going to profit from the event. My own race was worried about if I am going to profit from an event that I organized and busted my butt to make happen. I began to offer my services “Hairdo for Donation” to raise money and stopped selling raffle tickets.
It hurt and stressed me and I vented often to my husband. I even contemplated canceling but it meant so much to the girls that I had to follow through. I reached out to some small black owned business owners for sponsorship and support and some did support me and others didn’t follow through with their commitment to me. Items that were promised were not sent to me and to top it all off, I didn’t even get an explanation as to why they did not follow through with their commitments. I didn’t receive all of the items for the contestants (as promised by some black owned businesses). However, I didn’t let it stop me from following through with the pageant.
Myself with the first place winner in her division.
I followed through with the pageant and I didn’t have a great turnout at all, but the girls still had a great time. I am so proud of them. The auditorium that it was held in sat over two hundred people and approximately thirty people showed up to support the girls. Some of the thirty were judges and some were helpers to the parents in getting their children ready. I later learned that people were wondering why I charged a $10 entry fee. I couldn’t win for losing. People complained about the admission fee, they didn’t want to purchase $1 raffle tickets to help me raise money to do the pageant and they didn’t want me to profit or as some have said “get rich off them”.
This hurt me so bad and I had to go into a healing period after the event. I had a few people to reach out to me and ask me if I am going to do one this year because they saw all the beautiful girls in the pictures posted all over social media.
I am so grateful that after all of the backlash that I went through, I was contacted by someone in a bigger city who wants me to bring the pageant to their area. This brought so much joy to me.
I wanted to share this story because I know that I am not the only person who has tried to do things in a small town outside of gospel fests and the support is just not there. Instead of supporting you, people nick pick at what they think they know and will bring up rumors from when you were a teenager and hold it over your head whether true or not for the rest of your life. Is this the “crabs in a bucket” mentality?
Do not give up on your passion. Just because it doesn’t work out for you in that small town you are from, you are not limited, so expand. Never be afraid to expand.
Since the pageant, so many opportunities have opened up for me. I now look at it like a stepping stone to where I am trying to go in life. Always remember that it is a compound of events that will get you to where you want to be.
I have somehow made some people uncomfortable in my small town with my passion. I don’t limit my thoughts and actions to any area or someone’s “box” they have mentally created for me. Some people can understand this and some can not. Whether someone understands your passion or not, keep pressing on. Don’t EVER let negative comments and rumors stop you.
If you can’t handle people talking about you, then you are not ready for success. 🙂
Why is it so difficult for African American’s to support their own?