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Seeing Butterflies

J.P. Morgan’s Personal Librarian Was A Black Woman. This Is Her Story.

Black Women in Education

J.P. Morgan’s Personal Librarian Was A Black Woman. This Is Her Story.


I have a confession: I am not a fan of the passing trope. From Nella Larsen’s 1929 classic, Passing, to the original Imitation of Life (the 1934 movie starred the incomparable Fredi Washington as Peola, the little girl who wanted to be white) to Britt Bennett’s 2020 novel The Vanishing Half, the notion of a Black person posing as white to escape her Blackness just felt … tired.

“Deep down, all Black people want to be white.” I heard that in a social psychology class, repeated as if it were a truism. It’s not. At several points in childhood and as an adult, I’ve loved the notion of being rich, but being white? I…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

Flying High

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