A Letter to Little Black Girls Everywhere


During Women’s History Month, it is easy to highlight the accomplishments from women near and far, both locally and nationally. It’s true, we are in the era of #BlackGirlMagic, where the essence of who a black woman is has been recognized and finally celebrated.

In honor of women everywhere, I honor the little girls and young women who, haven’t walked into what is already done and are living in what is.

Dear Black Girl Magic;

You are Magic. The kind of Magic that makes you look twice because its so illuminating. You sparkle from the natural light inside. Shine, Black Girl!

You are favored, Divinely created. Your smile, your grace, your stance, your name. You are destined for more than you can imagine, worth more than you could ever fathom.

You are a part of an intricate tapestry of awesomeness, from Sojourner Truth to Claudette Colvin, Angela Davis to Yara Shahidi, Ava DuVernay to Naomi Wadler. Who you are is already woven, beautifully added in time, refusing to unravel.

We walk tall so that you may see our shadow. We make mistakes so you won’t have to. We speak your name and cry your tears. You are the epitome of persistence, the essence of determination and will.

You refuse to sweat - in fact, you sparkle!

Shine on, Black Girl!

Let us hold you up when you need strength to speak against what you face – in the classroom and on the block. Let us walk beside you in support when you march for your life.

Keep Shining, Black Girl!

You have the world at your fingertips, access to places, people and things we could have only imagined. We fight so you can walk through, climb up and burst the ceiling that exists for us.



Marlena Little

Educator, visionary and leader.

Marlena Little grew up in the inner-city of Chicago in one of the worst neighborhoods of the city. Yet the contrast of her home and school life provided evidence to the statement, “it’s not where you’ve been but where you are going”. Having attended one of the best elementary and high-schools in the country, she was determined to live beyond the poverty and violence of her neighborhood, knowing education was the escape.

Marlena Little, a Memphian by choice, relocated to Memphis to fight for educational equity. As a teacher, it was important for Marlena’s students to see her as an example of that escape. As an administrator, Marlena challenged teachers and staff to illuminate education as the way out, yet as a visionary, Marlena has created paths of escape.

As Founder of Life Prep Academy Schools, Marlena Little has seamlessly merged her childhood with the standard of excellence imbedded in her educational experiences to provide students, regardless of any “label”, the limitless opportunities a high-quality education affords.  Her philosophical beliefs about education are the guiding principles of Life Prep.

In addition to her many roles, Marlena Little is also a mother and forever learner.  She is a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership and has the pleasure of raising a nine-year-old daughter.