On overcoming the culture of fear that has done so much damage to individuals and the community.
Living in fear is essentially living the lie that tells you to hope for much less and avoid taking chances because you don’t deserve them. At this point, I can’t afford fear because it’s presence in my path isn’t just a stumbling block - it’s a deep ditch that I’d never come back from if I fell in, so I’m choosing to step wisely.
On having the consciousness of being black, celebrating it and thriving in it
Even though the horrendous manifestation of racism can make being Black feel like a laborious burden to carry, we must unite in solidarity to end racial and social injustice; And rather than consume the lies of people who misconstruct our stories, we must continue to tell our own....The world needs to know that we are still standing; still black, still proud.
On the effect of hearing your parents say “I love you” when it comes to knowing your value
(Now that my sons have) reached the ages when I was crippled with such doubt about my importance, my value and worth, I see happiness, confidence and love radiating from my children. Now I see three words and all that they embody that I starved for as a child flow freely in my life as a woman, friend, and most importantly mother.
On being called beautiful and why we all deserve it
I don’t like the fact that for many young black girls it has been a determining factor, in our black communities, whether you are given a chance or not. I don’t like that it has had so much power in who I am because I am more than my face and my physical body.
- Somikazi Tom
On overcoming other people’s opinions of our beauty and defining it for ourselves
The woman that I am is not defined by anyone’s standard of beauty. The woman that I am is one who is confident in her own skin, embraces her assets and flaws, and continues to live her life on her own terms.
On awakening our black pride by spitting out the lies society has told about us
To quote a Black man (Mr. Jesse Williams) who defines the awakening that I pray for our people to manifest, “What I’d like to see us do is to return to a space where it’s okay for folks to be proud and outwardly Black in public…” My Sistahs…don’t swallow the lies…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!
- Dale Francis
On standing our ground by not staying in our lane
In life, there is a place and time to stay in your lane and I think as black women, we should not think we can do the bare minimum. Our self-worth, talents, and skills should be appreciated and we should stand up for ourselves and not stay in our lanes.
- Claire Bunbury
On the power of representation on television
Scandal showcased the power of Black audiences and how much we needed characters that were not stereotypes, characters to aspire to.
- Phumuzile Mabasha
I’m thinking differently. I used to be afraid of shining too brightly, or being who I am and celebrating me. But now we have #BlackGirlMagic and it’s doing something to us. Such a powerful movement, so necessary.
On being enough
I won’t let the countless lies I’m told about who I’m supposed to be, continue to shape who I am.I can’t look for validation from a world that rejects me but capitalizes on my essence. I won’t further internalize where I’m told I fall short or fail to measure up.I will revel in the beauty, boldness and brilliance wrapped up in my existence as a black woman.I am more than enough.
- Crissi Ponder
On dating and not settling
Let’s stop the lie of the status quo when it comes to who we must date based on what we have accomplished and what we have, and that doesn’t mean you have to settle either.
- Naomi K. Bonman