Stacey R. Queen
Thriving on the Inspiration of Phenomenal Black Women
Recently, I came across a definition of inspiration that I've been thinking about a lot. Inspiration, a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul. More and more I think about the things that influence me, growing an herb garden inspires me to eat healthier, connecting with nature inspires me to get involved in Save the Planet initiatives, Zora Neal Hurston, Beyonce, Issa Ray, all for their voice and creativity, my best friend's entrepreneurial spirit and hustle, (shout out to the Devastating Divas of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Yes, my best friend of over thirty years is a Delta Diva and I'm a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated!) and of course my biggest influence, my mom. It seems as though I'm heavily influenced by other black women. We experience life like no other group of human beings. All the roles we play, all the hats we wear, all the curve balls life throws at us, we seem to handle it with grace and dignity even when it is dreadfully painful and seemingly unbearable. I've read countless academic writings, books, blogs, and magazine articles about almost every issue concerning black women. From our health, motherhood, our relationships with our partners, marriage, the incarceration rate of black women, how women earn less than men, how we dress, what hair products we buy for natural hair, is it ok to wear natural hair in the workplace to racism, sexism, misogyny, drug abuse, rape, sex trafficking, domestic violence and a myriad of other issues. The list is exhausting. But, in the words of the late poet and activist Dr. Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise." Even as I watch Candace Owens pop up on my newsfeed occasionally, she inspires me to dive deeper into the history of the culture and understand that just because we share the same skin color does not mean we share the same political affiliation or worldview. Let's pray for sis!
When your mind and soul are under the right influence there are no obstacles that can not be conquered. Remember, Oprah's childhood story, born into poverty to a teen mom, pregnant at fourteen years old, and experienced the death of her infant child. While her story is unique to her it reflects the struggles and the triumphs many black women experience. Today, multi-billionaire, media mogul the phenomenal Oprah Winfrey continues to inspire millions of women across the globe. No, Oprah is not a Delta or AKA like me and my bestie however, she is part of a special sisterhood that inspires the world over! The sisterhood of Inspiring Black Women, Incorporated.