In 2021 you allowed this newsletter into your inbox to talk about all kinds of things- from periods to Arby's wine glasses, constipation to dinner rolls, fear of salons to avoiding stabbing someone... and one thing is for sure. We aren't done yet because you are still here and growing in number! It is an honor that you have deemed this weekly email worthy of your inbox. Many of us are doing our best to limit the number of emails we receive... but here you are... allowing us to entertain you with tales from Black girlhood/womanhood every week.
Im so excited to share what we have planned for you for 2022.
I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a Black woman who is a creative. Its easy to pigeon-hole myself into the category of "anti-racist educator" And while that is part of who I am, I am also much more. Im a business owner (two of them actually), a writer, an artist. I am a producer, sometimes making videos on my own or with a large film crew. I make graphics, offer speeches, write essays, and participate in all kinds of collaborative projects from fundraising to raising awareness. I am a hardcore strategic thinker and help many artist friends think through the next right step for their own careers. For the next year, I really want to indulge this part of myself.
It would bring me great joy to use this newsletter to tell you more stories about being a Black woman artist writer producer entrepreneur business owner.
Yes, I could have used some commas in that last sentence, but you know what, they feel like they all bleed into one another! None of those titles feel independent from the others. This is the way I have been moving through the world from the moment I started publicly writing in 2013.
Im going to tell you about being fired (yikes) but also my first big breaks. Im going to share what Ive learned about making and creating. We've got to talk through the fears, the dreams, the goals, the disappointments. Im going to share what I know... and Im going to do so through the lenses of hope, joy and empowerment. Because Black girls could also use some humor in their lives! So we wont stray from making fun of ourselves, sharing the embarrassments with vulnerability and honesty. We'll talk about the awkwardness, and then the rising.
Because it's time for (another) revolution, dont you think?! We are living in a time of Misha Green's Lovecraft Country and Robin Thede's A Black Lady Sketch Show and Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You. We are on the earth at the same time as Nikole Hannah Jones and Jacqueline Woodson and Jesmyn Ward. We are regularly partaking of the genius of Ava DuVernay and Issa Rae and Shonda Rhimes and Melina Matsoukas. We are watching as Halle Berry makes her directorial debut, as Quinta Brunson takes on sitcom, and as Phoebe Robinson builds a multimedia empire. Black girls all over the world are creating dances and trends and challenges that regularly go viral. It's all so exciting and it's not enough... not nearly enough.
I believe there are more. More writers. More artists. More makers. More creators. And they could use some hope, some joy, some support, some information, some shine, some community... and maybe you could too!?
My deep hope is that this will continue to be a newsletter that reflects Black women back to ourselves. Too often when I read books on marketing or listen to podcasts on building a business, there is an underlying assumption of whiteness- of access, of opportunity, of education, of resources. And because of this underlying assumption, everything from "girlboss" to "so you want to be a CEO" misses the specific needs, desires, obstacles and opportunities that Black women must navigate as creatives.
Her Full Self is here to help you remember that you are a whole human being- that you are an artist, and that you deserve rest... that you are passionate, and that you are wearing multiple hats... that you may not know what you're doing but that your intuition is strong... that you are talented but that you do not in fact have the same hours in a day as Beyonce. Too often, turning our creative endeavors into a business means losing the things that brought us joy in the first place.
We are going to explore what it means to be a joy-filled, multi-hyphenate, Black woman.
Black women are one of the fastest growing demographics in small business ownership, but we are often the least invested in. We are going to change that.
Together, we are going to turn this space into one of sharing. Sharing our journeys. Sharing support. Sharing encouragement. Sharing resources.
We are going to cheer on the artists!
AND we are going live. Because I don't hold all the answers (or even most of them, let's be honest), we are going to invite more voices into the conversation. We will regularly host virtual events: both Q&As and Lives so that we can all broaden our understanding of the creative world.
One More Favor
If there is a Black woman artist/entrepreneur/creative in your life that could use some weekly encouragement, will you forward this email to them? Or... if you know of an ally who wants to participate in the revolution by shifting investment to Black women... please send this to them too?
See you in 2022! We've got stuff to do. (Didn't mean for that to rhyme... LOL)