Hey everyone and congratulations on making it to the weekend! I hope everyone was able to get outside and enjoy the few hours of sunshine this week had to offer us!
This week, being the first week of Black History Month, much of my time was spent listening to and learning from Black voices, specifically Black female voices. As such, I believe that you, our wonderful readers’ time is most valuably spent doing the same. I wanted to take this time to share with you all some of my favourites when it comes to Black female writers, speakers and content creators, as well as some Black owned small businesses in and around our area that I urge you all to check out and support.
Firstly, two phenomenal women I’ve had the privilege of reading and discussing in a few of my university classrooms are sociologist Barbara J. Fields and historian Karen E. Fields. In their book, Racecraft: The Soul Inequality in American Life, the Fields sisters articulate how the concept of “race” operates within American society - much of which is transferable to life on our side of the border as well. If you’re not up for a whole book, I STRONGLY encourage you to check out two interviews with the Fields sisters, How Race Is Conjured and Beyond “Race Relations” (links below) - each interview succinctly discusses some really important ideas from a fresh perspective.
Next, I know many of us don’t jump for joy at the thought of reading information, so I want to direct you to a quick, easy, and super enjoyable educational tool. Some of you may recognize her from her stint on Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise… Taylor Nolan is one of my favourite online content creators. She has an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing her Ph. D. in Clinical Sexology. You can find her as @taymocha on Instagram where she talks openly about her experiences as a bi-racial woman, topics like racism, environmental sustainability, sexuality, and so much more. Trust me…. follow her… like, right now. One of my particular favourites found on her page is her Instagram Highlight titled “Classy,” in which she speaks eloquently and passionately about our need to de-colonize and anti-racist our vocabularies… starting with words such as “classy.” Nolan also has an outstanding podcast titled Let’s Talk About it, with Taylor Nolan where she speaks more in depth about various issues.
I’m going to take a break from fangirling now to mention another way to support and lift up Black voices in your community. If you’re like me and believe that shopping is a respectable hobby, it’s time to tune in. For my London locals, I’ve attached some links below to super super cool, Black-owned small businesses in the area. Small businesses, particularly Black-owned businesses have been hurting this past year due to the spread Covid-19 and its subsequent restrictions; now more than ever it’s important to support these businesses.
If you’re not from London, not to worry! https://www.afrobiz.ca/ is THE BEST tool to help you support the Black community, regardless of what service you’re looking for. Simply type in your city and select what you’re looking for (shopping, beauty services, real estate, whatever!) and AfroBiz will provide you with links to Black businesses and Black entrepreneurs in your area.
Now is the time to listen to and learn from Black female voices; allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and allow yourself to be educated. In the words of American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist, Audre Lorde: “Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.”