Letter to my daughter.


July 26,2016

Darling Ari 


Tonight I made you watch the video of Hilary Clinton breaking the glass ceiling.

I wanted you to witness history .

I wanted you to see the first female US presidential nominee .

Just as I made you watch the inauguration of Barack Obama , the first black President,  8 years ago.

This was beyond politics , beyond partisan game playing and name calling . 

I wanted you to see this . 

To remember this day . Because I knew that from now on you'd take it for granted that a woman could be president . It would no longer be a novelty . It would no longer be just a dream .

What you didn't know is that  more than  a generation ago , this was indeed a distant dream .

Four generations before you , women weren't even allowed to cast their vote.

I wanted you to be proud to be a young woman.

I wanted you to believe that anything, anything was possible.

I wanted you to  remember  your great- grandmother who along with her husband, had walked miles to start a new life in the city. To give their 10 children a chance for better education. 

She had worked hard - she cooked and  baked , and sold  soft drinks , to put them all through school and lived to see them grow to be  successful people who've made their mark on our island . 

She probably never  thought she'd see this , but being the progressive and forward- thinking woman she was , she must have entertained that dream.

I wanted to remind you of grandmother , her daughter , who built a business from scratch . From being a teacher to a business owner and hotelier and the holder of several awards .

To tell you about my being harassed in medical school and being told that my lipstick was the wrong color and that my dress did nothing for my coloring . To tell you how small I felt when I was shouted at for doing exactly what my male colleague had shown me to do .

That despite that , I had persevered to graduate and eventually open my own clinic .

I wanted to to know that I fell in love with your father and learned how the love of a good man can be the wind beneath one's wings. That by allowing myself to be loved , to be supported , I gained strength , and confidence . I gained a deeper knowledge of myself and became a better version of myself . And a better mom to you and your brothers .

I didn't feel the need  to fight for equality or to push my feminist cause , I simply had to be me.

I wanted you to know that you came from a line of strong, courageous women. 

That the blood of generations of women ran in your veins .

Caribs , Africans, French Jews, Irish . 

At some point in the history of the World , these peoples had all fought  for their  right to exist.

You would too. I see it already ; my activist daughter. 

But after tonight , maybe , just maybe , it will be easier for you. 

Easier to get into what were previously male- dominated careers.

Easier to make your mark on the world for you've  already made your mark on ours .

The World will get a chance to know  you and your generation even better . 

To see you for who you are , not see you simply as a woman , or a West Indian. 

Or our daughter . Or your brothers' sister .

No more labels .

The world will see YOU . 


With infinite love and gratitude