Yesterday, KAE was onsite at Freckles Juice Bar located in Bronx, NY, selling various items at the "I Love Myself" fundraiser hosted by MarvyTV and Bronx Collective. A portion of the proceeds made onsite as well as throughout the month of February will go towards the Pretty Brown Girl after school program at the Bronx Charter School for Better Learning.
February 27th was International Pretty Brown Girl Day. We were honored to be part of such an amazing event that highlighted the beauty within differences. As a company that focuses on kindness, this event resonated with us a bit more as it shed light on being confident and proud of who you are as a "pretty brown girl". As the founders of KAE and also "pretty brown girls", we believe there is power in accurate representation. It is important to understand that "highlighting pretty brown girls" in no way removes the power and beauty from others outside this description. There are many things working against "brown people" in general. That is not an exaggeration and although many may blame it on historical residue or behavior, days like yesterday remind us that there are children growing up behind us, watching our every move, and believing each word spoken to them. Let us teach them that kindness is key- kindness towards themselves as well as others.
In an ebony magazine about "black love", Michaela Angela Davis describes the conflict she felt when her daughter, after a Sunday school lesson, asked about self-love, a love Davis says she didn’t know.
“In that moment, I thought back to every piece of generic advice I’d ever received. Countless times, I’d been told, ‘Girl, you just have to love yourself.’ Yet for the life of me, I couldn’t recall anyone teaching me how. So for years, I dressed up the negative self-talk in funky gear and fancy friends. Now, here I was exposed before my own perceptive precious little Black girl, who needed me to teach her about a love I didn’t quite understand."
Events and days like yesterday remind us to think deeper about who we are, the image of ourselves we project vs. the image we believe. It reminds us to speak life into each and every person, beginning with our youth. Young children do not have the influence of news stories, water cooler conversations, opinionated friends and family.....yet, at least. Each one of us should make it our mission to love people back to life. KAE was created to inject humanity back into this world. KAE includes and is for you. The brown you. The white you. The Hispanic you. The emotional you. Kindness above everything is the message to be heard from mountaintops and exercised within day-to-day interactions. It is equally important to remember that kindness and self-love does not only start with the people or experiences outside yourself. When your brain is trying to convince you that your life doesn’t matter and isn’t worth living, and all signs convince you that loving yourself seems impossible, address those thoughts one by one. Be patient with yourself. Your brain will also try to convince you that other people aren’t capable of loving you either and that your family, it will argue, only loves you out of obligation.
The devil is a liar and comes only to "steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10) We each may have our own way of learning to love ourselves however, we share the same sentiments as the words spoke by Christopher Lilley and Kayla Smith. There is beauty within our being, our space, our world. Our "love of self" comes from the one who first loved us by sending His son for each one of us and teaching us what true and honest love really means. We speak of kindness because our kindness comes from something deeper than a search for likes and follows, but because we are made in God's image and loving others as we love ourselves is our passion and mission. To be Christlike is our blueprint and to do so fashionably, is our design.
How can something created by God himself be useless, underserving of love and deserving of mistreatment? It cannot.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself, published in 1861, is an autobiographical narrative of Harriet A. Jacobs and is considered by scholars to be the preeminent narrative by a black woman before the Civil War, and the most representative account of black women's lives in bondage.
Despite the fact that someone else owned her body, could do as he pleased with it and could beat, jail or sell her for reporting rape to another slave (her only recourse, given that black people couldn't charge white people with a crime), sexual purity was expected of Jacobs. She understood that she was required to follow the rules slavery imposed upon her, but she wanted to follow the rules of Christian womanhood.
You may ask for freedom only if you live above reproach. That was the message to enslaved black people in the antebellum era. Freedom could never be an expectation, but a hope, an aspiration. It was something others possessed without measurement of their worth as individuals or as a people, but that blacks had to petition for, and that they had only a chance of achieving if their character was above that of the people who withheld freedom from them. The hypocrisy was unfair but was the standard. That was the culture then that was maintained by those living at that time. KAE was created during our time and we have all intention of making an impact and celebrating those who work diligently to do the same.
God makes no mistakes. We believe this. We live this. As Christians and owners of KAE, we know our strength and passion comes from the Lord. We pledge that with the same breath we breathe with, the same voice we speak with, and the same praise we thank God with, we will highlight, encourage, support, uplift, and join with those seeking to put kindness above everything and promote the importance of self-love and kindness, not just to "pretty brown girls", but to each and every race and gender that God has graciously blessed this world with.
Event details below!
Hosts: MarvyTV & Kayla Smith
Vendor: Us! Kae Collection
Artists: Sara Goulbourne (aka Ella), Christopher Lilley, Hoay Smith, and Kayla Smith
Venue: Freckles Juice Bar
KAE: where fashion meets philanthropy