The concept of "Community over Competition" goes against everything we've ever been taught. In environments rampant with misogynoir, we're often told that other black women are meant to be our rivals. It's an unspoken law that we must never be vulnerable. We're taught that only some of us are worthy of success and that we must take what we can get at the end of the day.
That way of thinking got old for me so quickly.
Who do I turn to the most for support with ventures like this blog or starting the journey of graduate school? OTHER BLACK WOMEN. I look to you all because you know exactly what it's like to feel as if you're working three times as hard for minimal payoff while others are recognized for simply breathing. Many of us come from a culture where showing emotion doesn't exist, and one where you'd take care to never utter the word "depression" and think that anyone will take you seriously. I surround myself with women who won't dismiss me with "Just pray," because sometimes I just need to be heard.
My emotional check-ins look like a weekly get-together surrounded by food and beverages with my amazing friend Andrea over at Motherland Essentials. We talk about our weeks, relationships, and the tone-deaf interactions we encounter in mostly-white spaces. Check-ins don't HAVE to be "How are you feeling today?" Ours look like tables full of food and laughing about how the only shape we'll ever get into is round (you all can thank Andrea for that clever line via late night text thread). Sometimes a black woman just needs to vent without the societal and cultural pressure of maintaining a wall of strength against everything thrown in her direction.