2020 has definitely been off to an intense start. We’re almost halfway through the year and the world’s been going through some major shifts – bigger than most of us have ever seen before. And this past month in the US has been a particularly important one. The country is confronting one of the biggest issues that’s existed since it’s very start – racial injustice. And witnessing it all unfold has been really eye-opening for me personally.
But for this month’s blog post, it doesn’t feel quite right to share my personal reflections. While I’ve been having a lot of conversations on the topic and learning more each day, right now my voice isn’t the one I want to share. Instead, I want to highlight some incredible Black American women whose work I really admire. Each of these ladies has been showing up, supporting, and inspiring their communities (and me!) for years now. And I think you’ll appreciate them just as much as do!
And then, at the end of this post I’m also sharing a little gift. So make sure to stick around till then 🙂
Now, without further ado, here are 10 black women who I love to follow and learn from. The nature of their work ranges from activism to healing to creating so I’ve broken the list down into three categories. But really, all of these women could easily fit into each category because what they have to offer beautifully blends all three together.
- Layla F Saad: I’m one of her newer followers, but I’ve been hearing about Layla F Saad’s work for quite a while now. She’s the author of Me and White Supremacy: A 28 Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor. And it recently made the New York Times best-seller list! Layla’s also a speaker, podcast host, and she teaches about race, identity, leadership, personal transformation, and social change.
- Rachel Cargle: I’ve been following Rachel Cargle for a couple of years now and I’ve learned so much along the way. She’s challenged me to think more critically and notice my own blind spots. Rachel is a writer, lecturer, and public academic. She also facilitates workshops and leads an online community called @thegreatunlearn where she curates syllabi dedicated to learning outside of the white lens. And last year, Rachel was featured on an episode of Red Table Talk about unpacking white privilege.
- Khadijah Abdullah: I can’t remember exactly when I first had the pleasure of meeting Khadijah, but she’s been inspiring me ever since. She’s the executive director of RAHMA – an organization dedicated to addressing HIV/AIDS and FGM/C in faith communities. In addition, Khadijah runs a business called Playtime Sitters. Over the last few months, I’ve watched from afar as she pivoted to adjust her business model into one that meets families needs even while staying home due to COVID-19. And recently, Khadijah appeared on an episode of the Sister Act podcast for a discussion on the experiences of black women of faith.
Teachers & Healers
4. Angelica Ali “The Village Auntie”: Angelica Lindsey-Ali is a certified sexual health educator, an intimacy and relationships expert, and the author of Passage: A 31 Day Guided Journey. Last year, my sister and I had the pleasure of interviewing her for an episode of our podcast and she shared sooo much wisdom with us! In fact, to this day it’s the episode with our highest number of listens. And she now hosts her own podcast called Lights on with Angelica Lindsey-Ali too!
5. Nedra Tawwab: Nedra Tawwab is a therapist who focuses on helping people create healthy relationships. I first came across her on an episode of the Therapy for Black Girls podcast about codependency. And more recently, I heard her on the Hey, Girl podcast in a conversation around navigating familial relationships. Her Instagram page is full of helpful reminders and pieces of wisdom on all things mental health including boundaries, trauma, and self-care.
6. Lauren Ash: I first discovered Lauren Ash through her podcast Black Girl in Om which I immediately fell in love with. She’s also a yoga + meditation teacher. Over the years she’s partnered with some big brands to create more healing spaces that specifically cater to black women. This includes the manifestation and journaling workshop she recently hosted in partnership with HBO.
7. Imani Bashir: Imani Bashir is a writer, world traveler, speaker, and mother. She’s lived in several different countries with her family including Egypt, Poland and China. And they’ve traveled to even more! Her freelance writing covers a diverse set of topics including travel, motherhood, sports, and pop culture. And her work has been featured in many major publications including Glamour. Cosmopolitan Magazine, and The New York Times. Imani also recently published her first children’s book: The Takeoff Toddler. Last year, I had the chance to book a writing coaching session with Imani and it was incredibly helpful!
8. Hannah Hasan: Hannah Hasan is a spoken word artist, public speaker, and facilitator. She hosts storytelling events, masterclasses, and writing workshops. Hannah also runs a platform called EpochTribe (together with her sister Shardae) that’s dedicated to empowering and creating brave spaces for people to share their stories. Recently, I’ve had the chance to actually attend a couple of her virtual events and really enjoyed them. It takes a lot of effort to gather community in the particular way that Hannah does and she does it so well!
9. Alex Elle: Alex Elle is an author, wellness consultant, and host of the Hey, Girl podcast. Her most recent episode really hit home for me as she spoke about the intersection between blackness, rest, and action. And the rawness she shared her personal experience stuck with me long after I finished listening. In addition to writing and podcasting, Alex also hosts workshops and retreats focused on helping attendees find their voice through story-telling, poetry, and narrative writing.
10. Venus Clapback: I said that I’d be highlighting 10 women today, but this last one actually brings the count up to 11. Because the Venus Clapback platform and podcast is a partnership between two fabulous women – Coco and Muse. Their podcast and video series is dedicated to exploring and showcasing new paths to black woman joy. They cover topics ranging from relationships, to career, to community building, and everything in between. And they have a way of making me laugh every single episode. Their advocacy work and the community dialogue they’re creating are both much needed and really refreshing.
And that brings us to the end of the list. The women above have all been great resources for me personally and I know you’ll find them just as amazing as I do. As you get to know and follow them, keep in mind how much time, energy, and effort they all put into showing up for their communities. And let’s each do our part to support them as well.
Before you go, I wanted to leave you with one last gift today.
Something that’s been extremely helpful for me over the past several weeks… and just about every time I’m feeling anxious or stressed. I’ve recorded a guided EFT/tapping video for dealing with overwhelming thoughts and feelings. I have to add the disclaimer that there’s a bit of background noise in the second half of the video, but I still think it’s worth sharing. So if you’re needing some healing and stress relief right now, this guided tapping is for you. Enjoy! And make sure to share the love with somebody else who could use it too.
And of course, I’d love to hear how you’re doing as well. How have you been navigating through the last few weeks? What are you struggling with and what are you learning? Let me know in a comment below this post or an email.
Peace and blessings,
P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.