Indianapolis author Tamara Winfrey Harris recently asked for letters for black girls to share at an Indianapolis presentation.

Wait. I’ll let her tell you:

“Wow! I got so much more. You came through from Alameda, California, to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to Lausanne, Switzerland. I got beautiful cards. I got hand-written letters. I got hand-crafted journals. I got unforgettable emails. And the words…I am inspired. I feel loved. I know that the girls who eventually read them will, too.

“With the help of two brilliant friends, I realized that my one-time effort deserves to be more. Black girls are under constant attack from racism and sexism. But they can survive. Better: They can thrive. Black women can help girls be healthy and whole if we approach them with love, honesty and vulnerability. There is no more powerful ally for a black girl than a former black girl.”

“First, let me thank her for including me as a brilliant friend. Second, I am proud to join Tamara and author Deesha Philyaw to prepare for the launch the Letters to Black Girls Project. Our goal is to support and inspire black girls through feminist, anti-racist, anti-respectability politics and pro-black letters from black women.”

We will officially kick off the project later this year with a web presence and letter writing and reading events in our home cities of Detroit, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. In the meantime, we’re collecting letters to distribute.

Will you write a letter to a black girl? Here is what you need to do:

Write a letter.

Be real. Be honest. Be vulnerable.

Share your experiences and words of encouragement. You won’t know the girl who receives your letter; simply think about what you needed to hear when you were a teen. Be mindful not to make assumptions about class, religion or sexuality. Make your letter as special as possible.

Include a card with your name and contact information (for us) and let us know whether we can share your involvement and letter as part of the Letters to Black Girls Project.

Mail your letter to:

Letters to Black Girls Project
℅ Tamara Winfrey-Harris
P.O. Box 472
Noblesville, IN 46061

Or email to info@letterstoblackgirls.com.

Share this invitation. There are nearly 12 million black girls in the United States. That’s a lot of letters! We need as many letter writers as possible. Help us make this request go viral.

On behalf of our team, and the black girls who will draw strength and assurance from your letters, we thank you so much!”


Tami, Rochelle and Deesha