Shades of Strong™ is about the everyday experiences that shape, make and often break the Strong Black Woman. join us in REDEFINING THE Strong Black woman.
…because being strong is not binary. You can be doing this and that simultaneously. You can be resilient and still have moments when you’re falling apart at the seams. You can be vocally resolute while refusing to accept the nonsense being hurled at you in (and out of) the workplace. You can be a natural nurturer while not putting your needs on the back burner. You can do and be all the things while still embracing your humanness.
If you’re ready to throw the Strong Black Woman trope back at all the people who are constantly throwing it at you, you’re in the right place at the right time.
You Are the Most Important Person in Your Life
As Black women we are born nurturers, but because of life’s circumstances we have a skewed perception of what that means; but even more that life’s circumstances, our perception of what it means to be nurturers can be greatly contributed to learned behavior dating back to childhood.
And that learned behavior dates back to the days of slavery. The slave owners and their wives taught us that everybody’s health and wellness was more important than the health and wellness of the Black woman. Our ancestors passed those lessons down to us and now we’re passing them down to our children by continuing to do life the way our parents and grand parents did.
Somebody has to do life differently because if we don’t we’re going to continue to pass this behavior down to generations to come.
Do you really want to your children, your daughters running themselves ragged to do ALL THE THINGS for the ALL THE PEOPLE? Of course not.
So, let's have a conversation about how you can start embracing the fact that YOU are the MOST important person in your life.
Is It Time to Retire the Strong Black Woman Title?
Many are talking about how problematic it is how it may be time to retire the Strong Black Woman label.
Tarij P. Henson in particular has been very vocal about her discomfort with the label Strong Black Woman.
In an interview with Essence she talked in detail about how “many of us [Black women] proudly take on the “strong Black woman” identity not realizing that we’re sending the message that we can bear the weight of the world on our shoulders without breaking a sweat.
She goes on to talk about how the term was originally used to empower us but is now being used as a weapon to dehumanize us, ignore our pain and belittle our tears.
After hearing all of that, is it time to retire the Strong Black Woman title?
Season Finale | Let's Imagine a New Normal Together
The running theme for 2020 has been EXHAUSTED for a lot of us, but most of us are still finding ways to maintain our sanity in the midst of it all.
In this episode Natty and I give listeners a sneak peek into some of the revelations we've encountered during this time of uncertainty and some new healthy and life changing practices that we've taken on for the sake of our mental and emotional wellness.
This is our final episode of the season, but we'll still be around. So be sure to follow us on your favorite social media platform. We’re @shadesofstrong EVERYWHERE.
It's Time to Level Up. Can You Help a Sista Out?
It's been a few weeks since we've released an episode because you know.......LIFE!
Let me just tell ya, homeschooling/virtual learning with elementary age children is NO EASY FEAT!
Chile!!! I'm struggling over here.
In this short bonus episode I share the struggle with y'all and invite you help Natty and I level up by answering a few questions to help us better support you.
It only takes about two minutes to complete our short questionnaire about what you want Shades of Strong to look like for you. What do you want and need from us to be of better service. Here's the LINK to make it happen>>>> bit.ly/helpshirlandnatty.
Black from the Past™ | Honoring Phyllis Hyman
In this week's minisode of Black from the Past we're shining a light on the breathtakingly beautiful and amazingly talented Phyllis Hyman.
Phyliss Hyman was a Philadelphia native best known for her contributions to the music world during the late 1970s through the early 1990s.
She had this sultry, velvety and smokey gorgeous voice that absolutely could not be mistaken.
In her own words, she liked songs that talked about the the emotional side of people, which is evident in her album, Living All Alone.
There was this sparkling presence about her that was simply unforgettable. But she also had this dark struggle with depression that wasn't common knowledge into later on in her career.
Click HERE for a few Phyllis Hyman facts and HERE for some Phyllis Hyman Favs.
A few things to ponder while listening:
* The many ways Phyllis Hyman's music helps us to tap into our vulnerabilities
* How often what we're feeling and experiencing doesn't mirror how others see us
* The importance of being aware of our mental and emotional well-being and seeking support when we need it
And be sure to check out her interview with Ebony/Jet where she talks about her insecurities and what it was really like working in the music industry and grab her biography, Strength of a Woman: The Phyliss Hyman Story written by Jason A. Michael available in paperback and Kindle versions.
Phyllis Hyman has not only made a significant contribution to the music industry, but also to the Black female experience as a whole and today we celebrate her legacy, her vulnerability, her humanness.
Do you have a family member or know of someone you would like to see us shine a light on? Send us an email at email@example.com with the subject line Black from the Past suggestion or hop over to our website at shadesofstrong.com and leave us a voice message and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
PREVIOUS BLACK FROM THE PAST FEATURES
Colorism | When They Say You’re Pretty for a Dark Skinned Girl
"You're pretty for a dark skinned girl."
"I don't usually date dark skinned girls."
Has anyone ever had the audacity to utter those words to you? I certainly hope not. But let's be real, if those words had never been uttered, we wouldn't be having the colorism conversation, right?
Dating back to the days of slavery, the chains of colorism were woven into our psyche and are deep within the fabric of our brains, but does mean that we have to succumb to the ridiculous belief one shade of skin is better than another?ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Colorism, originally used by slave owners to cause separation and divisiveness within the enslaved community, is still being used today both interracially and intraracially to pit darker-skinned people against lighter skinned people and we're here to help you break the chains.
Yup! We're pouring out ALL the colorism tea. So, come on in and get you some of this healing.
Here a few things we talked about:
* The origination of colorism
* What it looks like inside and outside the Black community
* Observing colorism for males vs females
* The paper bag test and its possible use within Black sororities
* The mental and emotional effects of colorism
* How Black women can begin to heal from the residual effects of colorism
* How you can start the colorism conversation with the young girls in your life
As you can see, we talked about ALL THE THINGS! We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic as well. So, head over to shadesofstrong.com and leave us a voice message with your thoughts or shoot us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OR get in touch with us on your favorite social media platform. We're Shades of Strong EVERYWHERE!
AND if you need help starting the colorism conversation with the girls in your life, Genesis Begins Again is just what you need. Available in paperback, Kindle and audio Genesis Begins Again tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who's fighting to over come internalized racism and a verbally abusive family so that she can learn to love herself. There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself and the color of her skin just happens to be one of them.
* Natty's Instagram
* "Healing Processes Creative Practices" Workshop
Other Episodes You Might Like:
* Mental Health Treatment is for Black Women Too
* When the Emotional Wall Come Tumbling Down
* Moving on When Life Gets You Down
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