Centering Black women
Celebrating our Magic. Honoring our Humanity. Re-imagining Resilience.
In my clinical practice, 90% of the women I see are Black. It is indeed magical. Each woman has their unique personality, sass, humor, wit, and brilliance. They each are so very different. What most of them share in common is the pressure to be strong. The pull to be resilient.
In my work, I celebrate Black women's brilliance, ingenuity, creativity, and magic. I also challenge them to hold space for their hurt, pain, shame, guilt, sadness, and loneliness. As they do so, they began to explore the narratives they hear often from family, colleagues, partners, and supervisors alike that make the latter difficult to practice. The narratives usually involve something similar to the following:
"You are so strong."
"You can handle anything."
"You always figure it out."
"You are so resilient."
I've learned that we all have been socialized around these narratives that harm us in unique ways. These stories told to us by others and ourselves perpetuate the idea that Black women are invulnerable. Yes, we are indeed magical in all the things I mentioned above. But do not mistake that magic to mean we are above the limitations that come with being human.
I share this article often with my clients: https://hbr.org/2016/06/resilience-is-about-how-you-recharge-not-how-you-endure
"Resilience is about how you recharge and not what you endure."
As Black women we endure A LOT! Period. Enduring daily injustices is our reality. I wish it were not the case, but it is. We will always have a heavier load. We will endure racism. We will ensure sexism. We will be over burdened by loved ones we are in community with because they believe "we can handle it." Folks will attempt to box us in rigid gender roles. But that endurance is not all there is to our story.
What is constant is the challenges we have to navigate; that which we endure. What has to change is the narratives around HOW we navigate those challenges. Join Dr. Nikki Coleman and I as we explore our experiences, center our voices, and honor our humanity.