I want girls with dark skin and curly hair going on adventures. I want them to be bold and strong, but still polite and kind. I want them to be described as beautiful and soft and shy and fearless and courageous. I want them to go to fantastical places and do supernatural things and meet unreal people and wonder at the possibilities of the world and what’s beyond it. I want them to be young and teenagers and young women and old women. I want them to be cranky and hyper and perfect and flawed.

I want stories with girls who look like me who are about more than boys. I want them to be more than urban and angry and upset and hurt and stereotyped. I want them to fall in love with themselves. I want them to see the world. I want them to be more than a side character. I want them to be dynamic and unique. I want them to be about more than the wrongs the world has done to them and their broken pieces. I want them to be about more than distrust and cruelty and discrimination and racism and hatred.

I want a story where girls with brown skin aren’t fundamentally cracked by broken homes and broken families and broken lives. I want them to come from a place they feel loved. I want them to have solid confidence in themselves, and insecurities that come from growing from a girl to a woman. I want them to have a solid foundation and solid friends and a solid family. I want them to be strong in their existence and more than their damaged pieces.

I want stories with brown girls who speak proper English because they choose to. I want stories about girls who can speak properly and still be themselves and speak like where they come from and know how to effortlessly switch between the two. I want nerdy girls who love to read and hang out with their friends. I want girls who keep to themselves by choice — not because they’re shunned. I want stories about girls who don’t curse or party or drink but still have wild nights with their friends and have memories with them that were worth making. I want girls who stay up late reading and writing and listening to music and texting their best friend.

I want stories about girls who aren’t afraid to cry — who face the world in front of them with pain and scars, but aren’t defined by it. Girls who refuse to be sucked into — locked in — held down by a life that wants to limit them.

I want girls who look like me who aren’t afraid to be themselves, even if that means it doesn’t look like “your average black girl”. I want stories about girls who are more than stereotypes. I want stories about girls with dark skin and curly hair who are brilliant and magical, and more than just what the world says they should be because of their skin.

These are the stories I want to read. These are the stories I’m going to write.

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