Tatted: African American woman finds her voice

This is the eleventh episode of Tatted, a podcast telling the stories behind people's ink.
Graphic by Kat Owens

KAYLA DRAKE | Host

For junior Alyssa Hawkins, her tattoo empowers her both as a woman and a minority.

“I think that often times what society is telling women – especially minority women, is that you are not enough. You will never be enough, you don’t meet these beauty standards or body standards.”

Hawkins’ tattoo, “Talitha cumi,” is Hebrew for little girl rise, recounting the biblical story of Jesus raising a young girl from death. Hawkins said the story is similar to her own experience with Christianity, more figuratively than literally. 

“Essentially that’s what Jesus did for me,” she said. “I was down; it seemed as though I was dead…and Jesus just laughed and he told me to rise, to stand up.”

As an African American she said she faces a lot of oppression and racism. When she was introduced to Christianity, she said it did not define her by her culture, gender or socioeconomic status, and that felt liberating. 

“Before I was introduced to the gospel, I felt like there was this ongoing fight for my voice,” she said. “That I needed to be heard, I needed to be loud and proud and black.”

Listen to hear more about how Hawkins found her voice as a black woman. 

This podcast comes out every Thursday and does not reflect the opinions of Lindenlink staff or Lindenwood University.

"Talitha cumi" is Hawkins first and only tattoo, and it is a matching one with a friend because they both felt empowered by the message. 
Photo by Kayla Drake
Alyssa Hawkins is also the vice president of Black Student Union and a nonprofit administration major. 
Photo by Kayla Drake
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About Kayla Drake 114 Articles
Kayla is our multimedia producer, so basically all things video and podcasts. She prefers to cover human interest stories because she believes we learn best by hearing personal testimonies of grief, passion, tribulation and activism. When Kayla is not editing or writing, most likely she is either hiking or eating. And by eating she doesn’t mean fast food, college grub, but the St. Louis restaurant scene (which is to die for). She is a proud St. Louisan and is passionate about being a part in the city's redemption. Look for the girl with the stickered out water bottle on campus and say hi.

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