[winner under 12 age category 2010]
Nebula yawned and opened her eyes to the white walls of her lavishly decorated bedroom. She reluctantly pulled herself away from her comfortable, white, blanket and stepped into the cold, Saturday, February morning. Nebula quickly took a bath and brushed her teeth. When she was finished, she stared with disgust at her dark face in the mirror. “Why can’t I be pretty like my white friends?” she thought as she hurried downstairs.
As she entered the room, her father greeted her, “Good morning my beautiful daughter.” Nebula frowned and mumbled, “yeah right.” She sat down and savoured the sugary cereal. Her dad got up and gave her the newspaper. “Read page 13, it will interest you,” he said as he hurried out into the chilly weather.
Nebula flipped to page 13 in the newspaper and saw an advertisement for the ‘Black and Beautiful’ teenage pageant. “This is not for me. I am not beautiful,” she muttered. “Don’t say that, you are a pretty young lady,” her mother shouted. Nebula screamed, “How can I enter that competition when I look like a black…”, “Ring, ring,” the phone interrupted.
“Answer the phone then read the book from the shelf called ‘My Black Heritage’,” said her mother as she walked into the kitchen.
“Hello,” Nebula answered the telephone. “Hi this is Chelsea. Did you hear about the ‘Black and Beautiful’ pageant?” Chelsea said. “I heard about it,” answered Nebula. “Well I’m going to enter and win. If you decide to enter you’ll need lots of practice and bleaching cream,” Chelsea said as she hung up the telephone.
Two hours later Nebula sat on a black leather sofa and read ‘My Black Heritage.’ She read about the essence of beauty. She read about her black African roots, Rosa Parks and Barack and Michelle Obama. “Wow!” she said to herself as the last words of the novel “beauty is inside of you” repeated themselves in her mind like the beat of an African drum. “Yes I can!” Nebula shouted as a beam of sunlight beamed through the blue curtain and saturated the room.
“Mom!” Nebula shouted as she ran to find her mother. “Yes Neb, what’s wrong?” her mother anxiously asked. “Thanks for the book mom. I learnt so much about my black identity and beauty. I want to enter the beauty contest,” she rambled. “I am so happy and proud of you,” her mother said. “My talent for the pageant will be a dance to the song ‘I am beautiful’.” “How do you know that you are black and beautiful,” asked her mother. Nebula stood confidently with a winning smile on her smooth black velvet face and answered, “I know that I am black and beautiful because I am a confident black girl who is proud of my African heritage and identity”. “You will win the pageant” shouted her mother. “Even if I don’t win, I am happy to be black and beautiful,” Nebula whispered as she hugged her mother.
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