Black Girl In The City.

Ask Black Girl .01: Ms. Autumn Wants to Know…
August 13, 2008, 6:34 pm
Filed under: ASK BLACK GIRL, basic $hit. | Tags: , , ,


I think its about that time. The “ASK BLACK GIRL” column is now a reality! I’m REAAAALLLY excited about this because I’m putting my little cyber corner to good use as well as the little ‘gift’ I have. Send me your opinions, questions and rants to with ‘ASK BLACK GIRL’ in the subject line. I’ll do my best to get to everyone. This first note touched my heart. So much so that I took a little extra time on it. We all should take the time when it’s truly worth it.

“Hey black girl, I’m Autumn and I’m going into the 9th grade also like your daughter. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and I’m addicted! When I’m down, I always come to your website. It seems like you have all the right things to say. I’ve been teased and bully in middle school constantly. I basically missed 6th grade by locking myself in my grandmother’s bathroom…Anyways, got any advice for me for High school?? I need your help. If you have my e-mail, give me a holler.” -Autumn

Dear Autumn,

First thanks for reading! Good to know I’m the one you come to when you’re down. You’re in good hands (for the most part) lol. Seriously though, I understand how you feel when people treat you like the underdog for whatever superficial or ignorant reason. But the fact that you allowed mere people to affect your education isn’t good. You have to remember that they are just that…people. I think one of your greater challenges in your first year will have to do with confidence and gaining a willingness to speak up for yourself. It took me 30 years to figure this crap out because I didn’t have anyone to teach me. But now I’m teaching and telling you to lift your head high! (I’m about to give you a huge head start on your 9th grade female counterparts.)

::10 Basic Things Every 9th Grade Power Girl Should Know::

Rachel Feierman

1. Work with what you already have and make it hotter. If you have great hair, find a way to make extra money to keep it well or ask a friend or family member that likes to do hair to help you out. If you have a great smile, use lip-gloss to accent it (avoid lipstick). Don’t even think about your downfalls. Don’t worry about the popular girls or the girls that get attention for the wrong reasons. Think about all of the wonderful things about you and purposely plan ways to make them even better. Soon those downfalls won’t be downfalls anymore because you will have raised your bar.

2. Keep your books first and aim high. It’s easy to get distracted during your first year. Heck, I had a BABY so you already know, lol. It’s okay to have fun but make sure you stay on task. Set a goal of what you want your GPA to be by the end of the year and write it down. Block out time in your day to sit in your room and focus on schoolwork. I think 45 minutes is just enough before you start zoning out and getting bored. I don’t recommend doing more than one extracurricular activity either. Start researching colleges this year and have a list for your parent(s) by the summer. If you’re lucky you may even get to visit one or a few. Keep a working list every single year and change it as often as you want.

3. Not everyone is your friend. Some will be your BFF’s and others will pose just to get close to you and learn your craft. Trust no one and chose your words carefully when interacting with your circle or crew. I’m not saying be hard and stern, just keep your eyes open…especially with girls. Try to avoid drama at all costs and don’t EVER discuss your personal matters with anyone, not even your best friend because they may not be your friend come next week.

4. Make a conscious effort to stay stylish. You don’t need a Gucci bag and diamond earrings to be fashionable. Fashion is more about swag and attitude. Use your dress to accent your personality and not the other way around. Plan out your outfits the night before & get up 30 minutes early to give yourself more priming time. If you have a wish list, cut out pictures of what you want and paste them on paper. Hang that paper anywhere, your room, locker etc. Trust me you’ll find ways to get those fashion extras if you’re looking at them every day. If you’re having trouble figuring out your signature style, go to the mall or your favorite store with a friend. Practice putting together and trying on outfits and get your friend’s opinion. Once you get your style down you’ll be trend setter vs. a funky Ledbetter ☺

5. Remember your manners and always be a lady. Etiquette and grace are important. Your teachers will respect you and our peers will want to be like you (and probably hate you – see #9). There’s no need to yell or be mean to someone. Wear a dress or skirt once a week or more. Boisterous behavior is a sign of low self-esteem and a lack of self-control. Don’t chomp on gum like a horse. Always compliment other girls on their shoes or something you admire about them. Cross your legs at the ankles when you sit, remember your posture and always say please and thank you. And PLEASE don’t booty shake at pep rallies no matter how bad you want to.

6. Try not to get caught up in what other kids have that you don’t. Bottom line is that you are you and what you have in your life is as it should be. The key is to focus on what you do have and fully love it. When you love something you take better care of it, and once you’ve proven that you can take care of those things…the next, bigger, and better will come. Remember that life is a process and you must earn your stay.

7. As hard is it may be, STAY SINGLE (during your first year). High school boys can be a huge distraction. Even the guys you went to middle school with will show their behinds because the fish bowl is that much bigger. I recommend focusing on everything Autumn in your first year so your next can be even better. Kicking something off in the summer after school is out is cool, just don’t do anything slick because moms always know! DO – NOT – HAVE – SEX. Parents shout this but never give the real reason why. Of course that’s gonna make you want to do it even more. Well the REAL reason aside from pregnancy and STD’s is that you want to remain in control and in a position of power. There are very deep spritual risks with sex, and if you’re not careful they’ll screw up you’re entire life. Trust me.

8. Respect and honor time. Once it passes its gone forever. Don’t be tardy or late to school when it could have been prevented. I’m not saying run around like the little bunny in Alice & Wonderland, but just pay attention to it. Such as getting up for school on time and making it to homeroom 15 minutes early if you can. Get in the habit of being early to everything because time management is crucial to success as your responsibilities as a young adult grow. I’m still working on the time thing myself!

9. Ignore the Haters & The Trouble Makers. Even if the attack is directed toward you, go the other way if you can. Remember why they are who they are. They may seem like key holders and influencers in the school, but they bullied their way into them. Just remember that whatever they say or do has nothing to do with you, it has everything to do with them and the insecurities they have inside. Bullies only mess with you if you allow them to. When they don’t get a rise they usually go the other way and find another timid girl like the one you used to be in middle school. They just want attention. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

10. Nurture a sense of personal well-being. Exercise and practice good eating habits. I recommend carrying a bottle of water around with you at school everyday. Your glow will be that much brighter. Start a journal or blog and write often. Find an animal shelter or local non-profit organization to volunteer a few hours of work when you have free time.

And finally Autumn, LOVE YOURSELF so that you can love others and bring your best to the world. If you have to say throughout your day do it. When you love yourself there are certain things you won’t stand for, including mistreatment and disrespect.


Much love,

-black girl.

Say Something. |


17 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think number 9 should add… but if you absolutely MUST fight— make sure you win! 🙂 Hahahaha… in high school, you should really still have to fight anyway. But um yes. LOL

Nice list.. 2 snaps for the kids.

Comment by theHustleHER

Nice list. I’m passing it on to my students next months.

Comment by Bianca

Wow…I wish I had you around when I was going to the 9th Grade, Black Girl. That was some really good advice. You are so good at this advice thing.

Comment by Kisa tha Diva

Off to the RACES!!!!!!!!

Comment by Elle

If only I had this going into 9th grade.

Comment by lovnlife

ok so two things

1. i nominated you!


2. Although the advice was for someone just entering their adolescence..
me being 22, fresh outta college, can definitely use some of that advice, especially the time managment!

Thanks BG!


Comment by smart0ne

Hey black girl….THANKS SOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!! I appriciate this very much. Now I know who to turn I will take this with me the first day I go to school. Wow, this is more information than I’ve ever known. 🙂 I now know that I have to be MYSELF and know no one else. Be my own person and not let anyone intimidate me. Thanks again very much, you are my role model, trully you are. 🙂 Peace and Love! I’m out with a causeand a sense of self-worth! lol

Comment by autumn

Mission accomplished. 🙂

Comment by blackgirlinthecity

I am a man and I will tell you…that everyone will treat you as you treat yourself. Never forget that!!!

Comment by The Standard

I wish I had advice like that when I was starting 9th grade. Autumn, take this advice to heart! Life has taught me it is all very true (X years later, but never mind that!) Enjoy high school sweetie!

Comment by Keelah

This is wonderful advice and it really applies to young women of all ages. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Comment by Et Cetera

Nice list. I just stumbled upon your blog and I noticed that you are a Obama supporter too. Please stop by my blog… I am giving away free Obama stickers. Thanks

Comment by TjforObama

I just found you rblog today and I like it already.

I think you gave her some excellent advice and then some. High school is rough and it just keeps gettin worse.

Comment by milkyglass

Excellent post!

Comment by 1976remixed

Good shot Black Girl!! I’m going to send this to my 16yr old daughter. Excellent and this still applies no matter what your age. (I’m still working on hornoring time myself at 40).

Comment by cherrylocs

I should show this to my little sister because she be acting up sometimes.

Comment by streetetiquette

oh my goodness. you NEED to write a high school manual for girls .
i was raised ( and often slacked ) to be a lady and a soon as high school hit
well , things went way down hill . this is an AMAZING list and i plan to print
and paste it in my notebook and go over it everytime i decide to act up . i agree with
theHustleHER though , if you gotta fight , if you get jumped ; don`t be like that girl
on YouTube who let them all beat on her . choose your fights wisely all the more .

your blog is WONDERFUL !


Comment by stayingblasian

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