About the Author

Shari J. Watson is a writer for Hallmark Cards and Mahogany social media. She enjoys snacking, spending lazy days with her cat, and laughing with friends. She’s always down for an adventure and a good matcha latte.

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Reader Interactions


  1. My goodness, Shari. Thank you thank you thank you! It’s taken me so long to “unlearn” the harm I’ve internalized and it matters to talk about it. Thank you for your vulnerability.

  2. Shari,
    I love the way you’ve told your story! Excellent beyond words!!
    Well written and as beautiful as YOU ARE 💕
    I have always “seen you” and will continue to see you! Being seen is a struggle for sure…especially for Black women in white spaces. I’m glad you found the courage (you are strong) and faith to write this for Mahogany, and be seen your way.
    Peace and caring 💐

  3. This is beautifully written and through a lens so many young black girls can relate to. Thank you for being so vulnerable in this space which encourages others to do the same.

  4. Wow!! So many things I never knew you were going through. I am so proud of the woman you have become even through the ignorance. Thank you for sharing your story and loving your blackness out loud!

  5. Wheeeeeewwwwwww this is the story of my life Shari!!! I remember counting the black kids on one hand in my classes at the Christian school I attended for 10 years, never having a black teacher until 8th grade,
    Slavery being justified and downplayed, only learning about the peaceful blacks, not being allowed to challenge the Christianity interpretation of history, white boys not liking me and the black boys only liking the white girls… FREEDOM

    • Thank you, Cuz! Your experiences sound so familiar. Praying things continue to change for the younger generation.

  6. Shari, this is a beautifully written article!! You are truly gifted from God!!! Thank you for sharing your story and refusing to live in silence!!

  7. Shari… your story struck a very familiar chord with me! I had similar experiences as one of a VERY few Black students in my Catholic schools. What we now call microaggressions were standard practice back in the day. I’m sure the priests, nuns and parents I encountered thought they were being benevolent in their reactions and interactions with me. But it left me with deep scars inside.
    Thank you for sharing your story!


    • Thank you for sharing a piece of your story, Jan! I hope you have been able to heal from those experiences. Your worth outshines each one!

  8. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR this “Eye-Opening” truth that we live on a daily basis. I almost cried, but instead…I’ll carry on.

  9. I’m so honored to know you and learn from you, Shari. Thank you for telling it like it is. And thank you for helping our world understanding the TRUE HEART of Jesus. It is amazing how we as Christians can get so far away from his truth and mission. I was honored to be your first grade teacher. I grieve over all that you suffered. And I am humbled that you invited me back in to hear your story from your adult perspective. Thank you so much. Philippians 1:20

  10. Shari, I’m so proud of the woman you have become. You’re speaking so many truths that needed to be said about the black woman experience. Continue on your spiritual journey and constantly dig for spiritual treasures and they will be revealed.. Proverbs 2:4-5

  11. Shari, thanks for sharing ur story without apology and with grace and redemption! I stand with you sis. Much love.

  12. What a wonderfully written, heartfelt article. Speaking your truth is always in order and to be respected. This helped me to realize the pain I have been carrying around since childhood and how I have suppressed these feelings for years. I now know I need to deal with them and recognize my true value. I need to ” find my people” as well. People who value me for me without pretense, people who do not invalidate my feelings but love me through them because they are true and real Christians. This has made me realize how much I have allowed myself to be devalued by by others with their suttle disregards which truly means they are not my friends but pretenders. It is time we value ourselves first so we can actually find people who genuinely love and respect us and out hurts and pains.

    • Thank you for sharing, Mary! I pray you find the healing you need as well as a community that will see and hear you.

  13. Shari, this is very inspiring and so true. I am a friend and ex- co-worker of your Mom. I met Rhonda when we worked at the church together. Your thoughts and writings remind me of my brother, who is also a very intellectual person whose thoughts about our heritage run deep. I was excited to hear you were at Hallmark when your Mom told me. I had always said, “Man, if Hallmark were in Chattanooga, I would love to work for them!” I’ve been buying Hallmark cards for a very long time and had the membership deal, because I love to send the very best expressions when I give cards. My Mama always said “Baby you always give me the prettiest cards.’ All my family tells me my Birthday cards are so meaningful because they fit them perfectly. I wish my brother could write with you for Mahogany at Hallmark. Shari, I’m so PROUD of you!!! Your Mom says you’re going to produce a Valentine’s book, which is my birthday. I can’t wait to see/purchase one. Be BLESSED and STAY SAFE. Sincerely, Teresa Sturdivant.

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