I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me, “You’re so pretty for a black girl.” “Your skin is so beautiful.” “You look like a doll.” “Nubian QUEEN.” Can y’all politely shut the fuck up? Stop telling me who I am, or who you want me to be.

Being black in America requires so many layers. What appears on the surface is not the full image. Who am I? Most days I have no idea. I'm changing every day! I can tell you I’m becoming my own woman. I am fearless and risky. I wish people would stop telling me how pretty I am. I want to be a badass. That’s me. Blue hair. Pink hair. Long hair, don’t fucking care. You want to call me anything? Call me black velvet. I want to be like black velvet.