I’m rooting for everyone that’s Black…

I remember growing up with commercials for baby dolls, where there would be kids playing with a White doll and a Black doll. I remember each time my older sister and I would see a Black doll, it was like a race to see who would “call” the doll first.

“I get the Black one!” my sister would say beating me nearly every time.

By default, not wanting to be a total loser, I’d scream right after, “I get the White one!”

We did this as if we would even be getting these dolls someday. I guess that’s the power of tv marketing on children’s networks. What we both wanted was the doll that represented us. For so long, we grasped onto what was closest to representing us: Pocahontas, The Lion King (Africa). I was an adult when Disney had their first Black princess, Princess Tiana. There is a sense of pride in being represented well after so many centuries of being misrepresented or not represented and accounted for at all.

The pride that leads to rooting for the Black couple on The Amazing Race. The pride in watching and bonding over Black-casted shows. The pride in our Black leaders and authors and creators and actors. Growing up in the 90s, representation was still not at the ideal level. This is especially true growing up in suburban Florida.

I do find value in highlighting Black businesses and films and creators. We have always existed, but certain systems have been in place to snuff out a lot of the influence we’ve made throughout history. As a Black woman, bringing my creative ideas to life is a passion. It is a part of the reason I created a Coloring Book Inspired by Black Women and a Black Art Notebook, amongst others. I am also working on a book of poetry.

I’ve had to learn to find my voice and share it, just like so many others. My hope is to continue to be an influence in the creative world, inspiring young Black women and men to use their unique voice and share it in their own creative ways.

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My name is Ashlyn. I am passionate about learning and sharing thoughts and perspectives.

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Ashlyn Janese

Ashlyn Janese

My name is Ashlyn. I am passionate about learning and sharing thoughts and perspectives.

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