How do you declare INDEPENDENCE?

Dear My People,

Do you celebrate your family?

Do you brag about your family?

Do you say good things about your family?

Wonderful!

Now, don’t be modest about YOURSELF!

Celebrate yourself

Brag about yourself

Say good things about yourself

This is about knowing your worth and never being ashamed to let OTHER people know your worth

I’m not only talking about romantic relationships and friendships

I’m talking about intellectualism, professional expertise, career development…the list goes on and on

Update your resume’/CV weekly or monthly

Some people will see your visibility and hear your voice and call you selfish, arrogant, a walking resume’

As Redman said, “I’ll beeee dat!”

It is common for women to be labeled selfish, arrogant, and a walking resume’. This is especially women of African diaspora, Hispanic diaspora, Native American/American Indian diaspora, Alaskan Native, Asian diaspora, East Indian diaspora, and Indigenous diaspora

This is because for centuries men around the world— various races, ethnicities, and cultures — have been allowed to “go for what they know.” To be visible. To be vocal. To be adamant. To reach for things without having to use an apologetic whisper. Without having a polite smile to make everyone else comfortable and not feel threatened

Of course, this is not 100%. There are instances in which women have been celebrated for being visible, confident, and vocal. There are instances in which men have been shamed, silenced, victimized, and criminalized for their confidence, for being adamant, and because they didn’t smile to make everyone else comfortable

Still, let’s be honest about what happens in many people’s personal and professional lives and what is meant by “haters everywhere we go”

Let’s be honest that most women are told to be peaceful and silent but LOUD when talking about their family. There are cultures in which women only exist to be mothers, nurturers, and handling kids. Regardless of whether people consider this good or bad — it tends to be traditionally, historically and currently confining and narrowing

This makes many women believe they must have children or find other ways to nurture — and their womanhood cannot be captured through intellectualism, professional expertise, and career development

Let’s also be honest that many men find power through manhood and masculinity, however, this often does not translate to intellectualism, professional expertise, and career development

Might I add:

  • I am an African diaspora/African-American/Black woman
  • I am an African diaspora/African-American/Black person
  • I am a sociologist and criminologist
  • I love my family
  • I love my friends
  • I love my career
  • I love my community involvement

These loves are deeply rooted in passion and support. These do not narrowly confine

Therefore, if you ever invite me to participate in something:

  • Remember my racial and ethnic identity, gender identity, occupation and career, and community involvement
  • Do not expect and require me to be a mother (remember I am permanently childfree-by-choice)
  • Do not expect and require me to be a nurturer (that is not part of my personality)
  • Do not expect and require me to ignore my intellectualism and expertise because you want me to “watch the kids” (you will be disappointed)
  • Do not expect and require me to be complacent, ashamed, apologetic, silent, smiling for no reason, and agreeing for no reason

Before you get offended, threatened, and mad — ask yourself if you would feel this way if I was a man

I always declare INDEPENDENCE

Let’s all declare INDEPENDENCE

Combining efforts and reaching goals are only possible once we all capture our OWN self-identity, our OWN self-worth, and our INDEPENDENCE

Now let’s sing Bob Marley’s “Zimbabwe.” INDEPENDENCE

(Join me in replacing “Zimbabwe” man-centered lyrics (him, he, brother) with all genders. INDEPENDENCE)

Sincerely, Me

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