Hey Notees! Did you know it was Black Woman’s Day in the Caribbean and Latin America last Saturday, July 25? One of our favorite writers, Kiratiana Freelon, provided a brief history of this 18 year old holiday in the latest issue of her newsletter, Coisa de Preto. Check out Kiratiana’s issue as she explains the origins of the holiday in full detail. Want a sneak peek? We featured Black Woman’s Day in this week’s Little Black History Fact.
For us, celebrating Black women and women of color is not a singular holiday, it’s in our DNA and truly makes up the content of our newsletter. Our Caribbean and Latin American sisters celebrate the day through festivals and marches, and leadership and woman’s organizations come together to address issues impacting Black women in their communities.
Would you be interested in an official Black Woman’s Day in the US? If so, what objectives or issues would you like to address?
Before you dive in, you probably noticed our new look and feel for the week. We want to have more opportunities to engage with you and increase your ability to like and comment throughout the issue to help us better understand what you enjoy and where we can improve. Drop us a note in the comments and tell us what you think overall!
Enjoy this week’s issue and always: Stay Notedd!
A recent report stated that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have shuttered from the impacts of COVID-19 compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses. As a result, Alexis Akarolo and Zelnnetta Clark created Rebuild the Block, a non-profit organization to assist Black and Brown small business owners who were impacted by COVID-19 to get back on their feet.
Shareef Abdul-Malik recently reached her financial campaign goal by raising $425K to officially launch Soul Food Market, an Atlanta-based Black owned supermarket that will primarily sell products from Black Farmers.
Real Estate Developers and Investors Shandrena Hadjamara and Marlena Barnett are raising money to build one of the first Black and woman-owned resort communities in Georgia called the Lakes of Sommerville.
7-year-old Olivia Tyler is helping communities who are experiencing homelessness by raising funds and making masks to keep her community safe and healthy from COVID-19.
Check out 20-year-old Morgan Bullock’s video on being a proud Black Irish dancer and her encouraging words on why you don’t make history “by staying inside a box.”
NASA Aerospace Research Psycho-Physiologist Dr. Patricia S. Cowings designed a program to help astronauts combat space sickness.
Who will fight for the women fighting for everyone else? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s speech is still resonating with us even a week later. In the House last Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out Rep. Ted Yoho for accosting her on the Capitol steps. She stated, “It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, and an entire structure of power that supports that.” This structure of power is the motivation behind New York Times writer Francesca Donner’s weeklong series on the inequities and biases women face in regards to disparities in wages, difficulty navigating political systems and other injustices. These injustices in conjunction with the ever-changing work environment are now sparking questions as to, why working from home may not necessarily be good for women?
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, researchers Herminia Ibarra, Julia Gillard and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explore how work and family conflicts are now exposing that “ women are more likely to carry out more domestic responsibilities while working flexibly, whereas men are more likely to prioritize and expand their work spheres.” In addition, maintaining a work/life balance is not resulting in increased advancement for women to senior level roles. Women of color have often shared their sentiments of being displeased with their treatment in their workplaces. Many have already expressed a lack of information-sharing to them, and a feeling of “isolation” “no support” and “not following including in their organization.” These feelings have only been heightened by today’s climate and while many are working from home.
Now this is not a man-shaming type of game, but 1 in 4 men believe women’s equality have come at their expense. While more than half of men believe that gender equality hasn’t gone far enough. In order for true change to occur, it will require male allyship within and outside of organizations to champion these issues to change the trajectory when it comes equal pay, unfair injustices and increased advancement for women.
How to address the two pandemics plaguing the Black community” COVID-19 and Rascism? Although we are near the end days of BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, mental health for people of color is still an ongoing struggle — especially in these difficult times of COVID-19. Chicago Psychiatrist Dr. Brandi Jackson shared in a recent article that this has been the most difficult time for her as a psychiatrist due to an uptick of anxiety and depression. As many have reported, we are facing two pandemics: coronavirus which has shown the health disparities impacting communities of color and social injustices to Black and Brown men, women and children as a result of police brutality. Dr. Jackson expresses how the Black and Brown communities are resilient and strong (which is a whole post within itself as being the prototypes of strength), but we were already at our breaking points especially with the increased showings of violence against the Black communities and there is a constant reminder of what we always knew to be present has never gone away. She also highlights the importance of changing the narrative of mental health as being silent by bringing it into the mainstream and stopping the separation of physical and mental health.
If you haven’t started already, Dr. Jackson encourages telemedicine, specifically telepsychiatry. We always want to be a resource and hope the following are helpful as you search for a new therapist or need any additional resources for a healthy mental health.
In relation to Dr. Jackson’s viewpoint of mental health in the Black community, writer Lincoln Hill offers an additional analysis of factors that disrupt mental health in our community, especially for women fo color. In doing so, Lincoln explores the theory of Imposter Syndrome, which is a term that has recently seen traction, but not enough especially for women of color when people to take into account the intersectionality. Lincoln’s theory explores how “traditional views of the impostor syndrome are either gendered or racialized and completely miss the mark and neglect to consider how racism and sexism interlock to form a nuanced and exacerbated form of oppression.” Taking into account how impostor syndrome has to account for different social and cultural realities for women.
We need more HerStories! One of our favorite writers, Christina M. Tapper, recently interviewed Ericka Huggins, a former Black Panther Party leader who was the longest-serving female leader of the organization. She reflects on herstory from her passion and interests in joining the party to her thoughts on the activists leading Black Lives Matters and organizations fighting the social injustices that Black and Brown communities face. Rep. Pramila Jayapal was recently interviewed by Fortune writer Emma Hinchliffe on herstory of her life as an activist before she was elected in Congress in 2016 and her three time arrest for civil disobedience. It’s important for us to feature these interviews and stories of the Black and Brown female activists and leaders, and commemorate and honor those Black women at the frontlines fighting for justice for the community members that we have lost and those wrongly imprisoned such as Grace: the 15-year-old has been detained in Oakland County, Michigan, since May after her caseworker learned she failed to do her schoolwork one day and a judge ruled that she had violated the terms of her probation. Numerous reports state that Grace’s caseworker stated that Grace has been handling her work responsibly and behaving. Grace’s teacher shared that she was “not out of alignment with most of her other students.” Despite the numerous people testifying to Grace’s defense, many observers and elected officials have said that Grace’s incarceration underscores racial biases in the justice system.
As we share often, we still feel an emotional rollercoaster of frustration, sadness and desperation to get out of this fog of uncertainty, injustice and unfair treatment. There is still hope in the reflection of the ones before us who were able to move mountains to get us here. We have to take the next steps to get our community even further.
We can’t stop jamming to Agyakomah’s new song “Pay Me What You Owe Me!” Agyamkomah wrote this song after recounting her post-grad experience of entering the job market and facing the difficult reality of finding a job that paid her fairly. Through the influence of her song, she noticed a gap and started the Pay Me What You Owe Discussion series where she chats with new and experienced professionals through IG live on their lessons learned from finding a job to negotiating salaries and advancing in Corporate America. Check out the song and the series to learn more!
Our dear friend, Teyonna Ridegeway, launched Souly Serene: a brand that sparks your light from the inside out by speaking life into your power and purpose. Teyonna created a line of affirmation cards as a result of posting affirmations on her Instagram Stories (if you don’t follow T, you should because she brings some much positivity and light to her page). On her website, she shares how God deposited the affirmations in her spirit as she was going through a tough season. She’d wake up and write what was on her heart and what she needed to affirm to herself, then share it with her followers. Now her 55 card line is available for you to purchase today. Ours is on our way and can’t wait to start using them 😊
You may have saw the breaking news that Forever First Lady Michelle Obama is gracing us with her podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast.” If you haven’t had a chance to listen, take a listen today or this weekend because it is LIVE. Debuting yesterday, Michelle chats with her first guest: our Forever President Barack Obama. In addition to President Obama, she has a notable line-up including Dr. Sharon Malone MD, Craig Robinson, Valerie Jarett, Conan O’Brien, and Michele Norris, discussing a variety of topics such from sibling relationships and raising children to girlfriends, women’s health, mentorship, and marriage.
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