“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
It’s about 7:00pm here in Honolulu, and I’m sitting at my desk in my office.
I actually sat down to write a very different post today.
One about how you can use speaking to fulfill your purpose, make a difference and earn good money at the same time.
While that is an interesting topic for the women in our community, it was difficult for me to write about that when I know that today, most of us in our Happy Black Woman tribe are dealing with a very disturbing reality.
All day, I’ve been glued to my Facebook feed.
Which is weird for me since I typically avoid trending topics on social media because of all the negative news and silly celebrity gossip.
I especially stay away from religion and politics and the circus they have become.
But there was something about watching the videos of multiple black men being killed by police in the United States over the last few days and at the same time also witnessing the grief and anger of my friends and colleagues.
I’ve been reminded that although we’ve come a long way in this country, we still have so far to go.
There are still plenty of white people who fear black people so much that they will do anything to justify our destruction, from attacking our character, our appearance and even our physical bodies.
They fear us because we are a threat to THEIR power.
That’s why the best way for us to rise up is to use OUR power.
As leaders. As teachers. As parents. As healers. As entrepreneurs.
We have creative power. Spiritual power. Economic power.
And no matter how many of us they kill, they can NEVER take that power away.
Several of my friends posted about feeling helpless, not just in the face of police brutality but when it comes to the ongoing blatant racism and white supremacy in the United States in general.
And like them, I’ve been asking myself:
What can I DO?
I can empathize.
I can cry.
I can pray.
I can donate money to the organizations who are on the front lines for change.
But to be honest, none of that seems like enough anymore.
What can I DO?
What I came to that feels authentic for me is to strengthen my commitment to BLACK WOMEN.
People (white people, mostly) often ask me why I named my company and my brand “Happy Black Woman.”
Their concern is that it “excludes people.”
People who are not black women.
Just like there are those who want to turn “Black Lives Matter” into “All Lives Matter” because to actually focus on the importance of black lives makes them feel uncomfortable.
And to be honest, at times I have wondered whether I should be more inclusive.
But the reason I named my brand “Happy Black Woman” is because what I teach is from my personal experience of creating a life of happiness as not just a woman or not even as a Black person, but as a BLACK WOMAN which has its own peculiar set of challenges and complexities.
Reading the comments of black women in our tribe who were expressing concern over their sons, brothers, husbands and fathers made me reflect on all that we go through on this journey to build a meaningful life.
I spent over a decade working in the nonprofit sector for social change and community development.
These days, I leave the on-the-ground organizing to those for whom it is their purpose and calling to do so.
But what I CAN do, and what I am being CALLED to do in this moment is the following:
To strengthen my commitment to supporting black women specifically.
To be unapologetic about who I serve and why.
To not water down my message because it might “offend” people who are not even MY people!
To honor my own need for self-care and to encourage my sisters to do the same.
To show, through my own actions, that as black women, we absolutely deserve to live amazing lives, despite what society would like us to believe.
To remind other black women that there is nothing wrong with us, that we are beautiful and powerful and free to do whatever we want and no one can stop us unless we let them.
To not let anyone stop ME from walking in my purpose, helping others do the same and enjoying the life I have created.
To inspire as many black women as I can while I am alive on this earth.
This is what I can do.
Be more courageous in service to my mission.
What can YOU do?
P.S. If you’re looking for a positive space online where you can connect with like-minded women, I invite you to join us in our Happy Black Woman Facebook Tribe here:
There you will find a loving community of black women from all over the world who support each other every single day, no matter what we’re going through.