White House ‘Princess Party’ Celebrates Literacy
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
First Lady Michelle Obama reminded everyone of one of the most powerful affirmations of all at the White House’s “Princess Party” to celebrate literacy.
Speaking to a room full of Black girls, 115 to be exact, adorned in sparkly tiaras, the first lady led a series of positive affirmations chanted by the little girls. They reminded themselves that they are strong, beautiful, kind and brilliant.
“I am smart. I am funny. I am a queen,” the pages in their little hands said.
The event took place a little over two weeks ago, but the girls will undoubtedly remember it for a lifetime. The Oct. 17 event was part of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans effort to celebrate literacy. The event’s mission also served to re-frame narratives around beauty and brilliance for girls of color.
In June 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order to establish the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans. The move was meant to acknowledge the significant racial disparities present in the country’s education system, one that disproportionately affects Black students.
What exactly made this party so cool? The leader was six-year-old Jordan West. The “Princess for a Day” author read to her peers the empowering story of a young Black girl who wanted to throw a party for girls who were homeless or in foster care. Why? To ensure that they, too, felt like princesses.
“Reading a book about a Black girl written by a Black girl only has positive effects on a girl’s life,” reports the Education Post. “According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, fewer than 10 percent of children’s books released in 2015 had a Black person as a main character. When girls don’t see themselves and their experiences in the stories they read during a formative period of their growth and development, they struggle with actualizing their dreams and aspirations.”