Fifth-grader turns being bullied for her Afro into inspiration for others

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A 10-year-old girl in Nashville, TN, who was bullied for sporting an afro is aiming to return to school “bigger and better.”

The student, Promise Sawyers who has worn her hair natural her entire life, started fifth grade at Head Middle Magnet School, first while wearing braids but would opted to switch to an afro after a couple of days.

“I felt confident and pretty,” Sawyers said. “At my old school, people thought my hair was cool.”

READ MORE: Texas teacher wears same hairstyle as her student to prove to her she’s beautiful

But Nashville station WZTV reported Promise was bullied by her new schoolmates about her crown, leaving her discouraged. But she responded with an inspirational video that in which she declares that she’s proud of her hair the way it is.

“I went to school and I wore my hair in an afro like this, and a lot of people had a lot of mean things to say about it,” Promise said. “So that made me feel some type of way. So yesterday when I came home I told my mom and she said, ‘Promise, don’t forget who you are and whose you are.’ I said ‘OK.’ So today I’m going to go to school and I’m going to come back bigger and better. Don’t let anyone tell steal your joy. Don’t give them that power.”

Sawyer’s mother, Qui Daughtery, noticed her daughter secretly recorded the video and posted it to Facebook, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.

“The video was made at that point, like she’s really taking a stance,” Daugherty said. “The immediate family was more proud of that moment, but we had no idea the impact that it was gonna make and the amount of messages.”

READ MORE: Why Tennessee is fining Black women $100,000 for braiding hair

The video has been seen nearly 2 million times and received thousands of shares and comments, but Daugherty wants her daughter to focus on how they can do more.

“We’re not focused on the numbers. Let’s find a way we can be impactful behind this and make an influence and inspire people. That’s all we want,” Daugherty said.

The video inspired “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross to sit down with Promise on singer Kelly Clarkson’s new daytime talk show (where she wore her hair in braids) to talk about the video she made and why it was important.

“I’m so glad you knew, at 10 years old, what it took me so long to learn about myself and you are such an example,” Ross said.

READ MORE: Tracee Ellis Ross announces lush new hair care line for curly hair

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