My Heart is Invisible Vol. 8: What Does a Little Black Girl Dream Up?

In the wake of the fatal police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, writers in the Grub community asked for a space to address the effects of police brutality on communities of color. To create that space, this series of "Writers React" is dedicated to personal essays that respond to prejudicial violence. The title, "My Heart is Invisible," comes from the first essay in the series, "Driving While Me," by Kerry Beckford. In this eighth installment, Beasa Dukes talks about how race changes childhood dreams.


What does a little black girl dream up?

The same things a white girl does—princess things and My Little Pony. A Little black girl might dream up power soft hush and fairy lush and sugary fluff. She might dream up indigo swirls and silky pink. She might dream up drum beats and thunder in her fingertips. She might dream up dragons and beasts that she can conquer. She might dream up herself in invincible magic-crafted armor. She might dream up laughter and a bumbling sun and a god-blue sky. She might dream up lullaby winds and sleepy sand squished between her toes. She might dream up all the chocolate treats she can eat—you can’t get cavities when you sleep. She might dream up the honey scent of her mama’s black skin.  

She ain’t dreaming up violence. Or a grown man’s musk. Or a white man’s broiling rage pounding down the door and ripping open her skull with an animal bullet. She ain’t dreaming herself dead. She ain’t dreaming to never dream.

She ain’t dreaming no more.

                                                                                                          What does a little black girl dream up?

                                                                                                                                  To live.


Beasa Dukes is a twenty-one year old, black bi-gendered person. They are currently an English Major and Creative Writing minor at Longwood University. They have published once in the Guide To Kulchur Creave Journal Issue No. 4: LGBTQIA and Two-Spirit Issue. They focus-write and play around with gender, race, sexuality off-pulse spirit stuff, and the body to explore identy. 

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