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What It Means to Be Young, Gifted and Black: An Ode to Yara Shahidi


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What It Means to Be Young, Gifted and Black: An Ode to Yara Shahidi

A poem that defines the essence of Yara Shahidi as an activist, actress and young lady.


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

Sweet like the rain in the summer,

Beaming like the sun in July

Curls that coil like the spring in your step,

Joy and laughter that touches all that you’ve met.


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

Pumping through your veins is beauty and brains,

Knowledge and pain, explaining the world for those who refrain

Trusting your judgment, shedding your light,

From deep within your soul, your love shines bright.


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

From TV screens to magazines, you’ve got exactly what it means to be,

Young, gifted and Black,

And as a matter of fact, your humanity goes far beyond than what people think a woman your age could contract.


Black butterfly, girl you are fly

Girls look up to you with sweet admiration,

Mothers stand up for you with compassion and adoration,

Michelle knows your name; she’s been a witness to your work

While your mother is a witness that could speak to you being a blessing since birth.


Black butterfly, girl you are too fly.

Colorful like the rainbow,

The stain of how far your impact runs is where the future lies

Feminist, activist, actress and more,

Yara Shahidi, your talents open every door

Time can’t box you in,

You’ve grabbed life by the reins,

A breath of fresh air,

Testifying for girls who’ve struggled for the cause and girls who’ve struggled with the shame.


Black butterfly, you are so fly.

There’s no one like you,

And it’s easy to see why

Your talents are unmatched,

Your authenticity is never tamed

This holy bubbling from within you, we need to know your name…


Please read original article – What It Means to Be Young, Gifted and Black: An Ode to Yara Shahidi


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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