all of my life I have been surrounded by black womyn. I grew up in a very matriarchal family, black womyn are the backbone to my life.
the comfort, the soulfood, the center.
I have 3 womyn who in my life, inspired me as a opportunist, a entrepreneur and as a survivor. these 3 womyn do not look like what they have been through, they look goooooooooooood. y’all know black don’t crack.
- my mother – being raised by a single parent, my mother instilled me at a young age that there is nothing I can’t do when I put my mind to it. my mother has a enterprising spirit. she raised 4 kids, all who went to college, graduated and are dynamic. she used all of her 24 hours in a day for her children, her job and for opportunities that she could take advantage of. she has the biggest heart I know, but she is also very brilliant. we were in numerous extracurricular activities that enlarged our network for professional options, college tools and experiences in Chicago. growing up on the southside of Chicago, most children are limited to their block, but my mother made sure that we knew just how big a city we lived in. I was singing Opera, my brother played the saxaphone, my sister doing STEM research and my baby sis was in a top Arts program on the northside. we always attend a unapologetically blk church Trinity United Church of Christ. I accepted my calling to serve as a junior deacon when I was in high school. my mother is a womyn who grounds herself in research, resources and recommendations. my mother can sing a Minnie Riperton song flawlessly, talk about systemic privilege while coding for a computer program. yeah she is a badass. now that I am older, I respect everything that she has done for us SO much more. she did not let the absence of her husband stop her from raising 4 children. she never let the absence of anyone affect her ability to work. she is a go getter, a hustler. it makes sense as to why I am so confident in my God and my own ability to do whatever I can. I am truly a multifaceted womyn with many talents. there is no stopping me.
- my grandmother – I did not get my hair done in a hair salon until I was 18. until then, the only hands that touched this head was my grandmother’s. her hands are magic. to this day, I still am amazed when I look at my hair for years how she tamed this kitchen. my grandmother attended cosmetology school, in which she was very successful. in spite of a bachelor’s degree, and being pregnant as a teenager, she launched her own business. she was THEE hairs stylist. she won hair shows, was recommended to do oprah’s hair and won numerous awards from many blk organizations. she is brilliant and a badass. she always had a taste of the finer things. a original bad and boujee. similar to my mother, she has a huge heart to help others. she is the glue of my family. my grandmother instilled me the power of owning your own! this drove my entrepreneurial spirit to create my brand, write books and go after my innate talent of writing. she also is a strong womyn of faith. God’s got this. she made me learn the serenity prayer at a young age. she also made me feel beautiful inside and out. we are exactly 50 years apart, lol so we twins in our eyes.
- my auntie is a survivor – my aunt is the happiest, funniest, positive vibe you can ever meet. she is literally a walking sunshine on any cloudy day. she has a huge heart to help others. she is amazing with crafts. as well as, tells the best jokes. she makes the greatest grilled cheese. she has a smile that will show you life may be tough but darling so are you. my aunt was raped at a young age. a nightmare my siblings and I were told when we were young to always watch out for each other. she also lost her son, my cousin Austin, June 2015. as many as times as her body, her heart has been broken, I only saw her cry twice. any other time she is the shoulder that I have cried on, or the laugh that I needed to hear to make any pain seem a little less intense. she is truly a dynamic resilient womyn that I look up to in so many ways. surviving is apart of life, because pain is a guarantee but suffering is a choice.