As Black women hold significant spending and political influence today, we remain under-represented in key leadership positions in corporate and political organizations. According to a report released in June 2014 entitled, Status of Black Women in American Politics, we drive spending of 85 cents to every dollar in the Black community; we are 58.6% of the voters in Black communities. However, we aren’t leading and shaping the discourse in these areas.
Featured on ForHarriet.com I’ve always had a secure understanding of who I am. As a young Black girl navigating White affluent academic environments, I proudly announced my South Bronx origins. When I began to speak out for students of color in high school, I embraced being affectionately labeled, The Loud Black Girl. As I grew into my womanhood, I advised my girlfriends on how to express their emotional and physical desires to their mates. Not once did I view my varied ways of being as problematic until I desired to focus on my professional development.
Feature on ForHarriet.com Leaders at the Op-Ed Project asked me and thirteen other women to introduce ourselves with this statement: “I am an expert in…” The reactions of participants’ discomforts range from verbal resistance of the “patriarchal notion” of expertise to stammering over one’s words: “I am not going to brag; I am too young to be an expert; I’ve only been in my field for ten years.” Ultimately, the Yale doctoral student, the Princeton professor, the nonprofit executive directors, and the consultant to the White House all conceded that they were indeed experts on a topic. So, why is such…
It was my fifth day lying in bed, my worse bout of depression yet. The movie reel of my life’s woes played on repeat. I transported back to my childhood experiences with a drug-addicted mother; I relived the pain of failed relationships. One horrible memory played after the other. As I wallowed in my self-pity, a clear and crisp voice said, “Get up, you are not a victim.”