Black women are negotiating the different stages of menopause along with their ever evolving identifies, relationships, careers, responsibilities and societal tropes. This is a curated intergenerational exchange, a space for exploration, mentorship, intimacy and vulnerability around life, identity and change. It’s the excavation of the things that you need to know, but were never told. It’s the guide we wish we all had access to no matter our age.
Before we jump in: a note on our content for this episode.
"The Sweetest Taboo" episode is a candid conversation with Sexologist Goody Howard about sexuality and sexual expression. It is created for adult audiences only. We advise listener discretion for graphic conversation about sexual expression, frank portrayal of sexuality, discussion of sex toys and products; and some strong language. We hope you enjoy this frank, funny and very informative conversation about sex and aging, but if you need a breather—we’ve got your back. Whenever you’re feeling ready and able: we hope you’ll join us for this liberatory conversation around sex and aging.
Let's begin, shall we?
“I believe that we are in an imagination battle, and almost everything about how we orient toward our bodies is shaped by fearful imaginations. Imaginations that fear Blackness, brownness, fatness, queerness, disability, difference. Our radical imagination is a tool for decolonization, for reclaiming our right to shape our lived reality.”
― Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
The first sex education conversation I remember having was when I was in the 6th grade. It was 1979. The vast majority of the conversation was focused on the physical changes we were going to experience as adolescents, STDs and how NOT to get pregnant. There was little to no mention of consent and pleasure was definitely not addressed. Like many kids raised in the 70s, there were books in our home that gave us a peek into intimacy and sexual expression. From "The Joy of Sex", the Playboy books in the basement and HBO After Dark, many of us gleaned information about sex from a patchwork of places including our peers. This also meant that many of us moved into our sexual identities with misinformation and taboos around the many ways we can experience consensual sexual pleasure. As we move into our aging identities with our journey with Menopause, many of us are, some for the first time even, more curious and open to talking about our sexual identities, desires, and how we want to access pleasure.
In this episode of the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, we have a frank conversation with Sexologist Goody Howard about sex, menopause, aging, and so much more! Goody is a partner, parent, world-renown, pleasure professional. She sells adult toys, teach sexual skill workshops, offer sex-positive professional development opportunities, and create dope, sex-centered t-shirts! In partnership with the Black Girl's Guide, our listeners will receive a 10% discount on items on Goody's website, AskGoody.com, when they use the CODE: BGG2SM. To learn more about Goody, check her out on IG or Twitter @AskGoody.
To take advantage of the discount form this episode's sponsor, KINDRA, click ourkindra.com/omi20
To Learn More about Us: www.blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause.com
Support the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause via a one-time donation:
To become a sustainer, check out our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/blackgirlsguidetomenopause
It's my birthday y'all!
So grateful for another rotation around the sun. So grateful for this 54 year old body that continues to carry me and teach me about how to love, heal and take risk to be more of who I am meant to be. I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday with our podcast listeners than to share this delicious bonus episode! My dear brilliant and super talented sister of the heart, Lana Garland*, is a filmmaker, producer and the curator/director of the Hayti Heritage Film Festival (see website below). She invited me to moderate a conversation between the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause and show writer Shannon Houston and award-winning actress Aunjanue Ellis of HBO's Lovecraft Country for this years festival. We talked about rage, shrinking, shame, power, control, love, healing and choices. What an honor! Lana also gifted me with the audio from this conversation that I want to gift to you to say "thank you" for your support of this podcast platform that unapologetically centers Black voices and stories as we navigate menopause and aging. You are so appreciated!
Lovecraft Country, the tv show, is based on a book of the same name written by Matt Ruff and book is considered dark fantasy. The name Lovecraft is derived from an early 20th century horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, who was also a self professed white supremacist. It’s set in 1955 Chicago and begins with inviting us to join a quest. This quest is being led by the male lead character, Atticus played by Jonathan Majors (also known as Tic), who has recently returned home from the Korean war. He is searching for his father and seeking to learn and reclaim his birthright...access to and dominion over the magic that exists in his bloodline--his ancestral legacy. The entire show is stunning and it is the storyline of Hippolyta Freeman performed so impeccably by Aunjanue, Tic’s aunt and episode “I Am” that took my and the breath of some many others away.
Learn more about HBO's Lovecraft Country Here: https://www.hbo.com/lovecraft-country
"The “I AM" episode of Lovecraft Country gave viewers quite a shock. Never in the history of TV had they seen a liberatory presentation of mature Black womanhood quite like this. Audiences took a journey with the character Hippolyta, played masterfully by Aunjanue Ellis, and we got to experience the glorious revelation of a full 360 degree woman. In this session Omisade Burney-Scott, creator of the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, talks with LoveCraft writer Shannon Houston and the award-winning actress Aunjanue Ellis about why this became one of the most popular episodes of the series." --2021 Hayti Heritage Film Festival https://haytifilmfest.org/
*Check out Lana's interview with BGG2SM during our first season here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1qtixwI1pAOOSt4lv9UM4I?si=ceha3VqER9y_PsHVwpQ-ZA
Aries Season Birthday Love Offerings Are Welcome!
To learn more about the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, check out our website! We've got merch and our zine "Messages from the Menopausal Multiverse" available too! https://blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause.com/
“As a culture worker who belongs to an oppressed people my job is to make revolution irresistible.”
Toni Cade Bambara
When my sister and I were little girls, we developed a skill set to be present in rooms with my mother and her best girlfriends without being detected. If we could be quiet and not make any quick movements, we could have access to the world of older Black women and bear witness to the magic of their friendship and sisterhood. We called it ear hustling. The ear hustle was a skill that improved with age and was also foiled quite often by the super human listening and motion detecting powers of the adults in our lives. My sister and I couldn't wait to be old enough to sit in that space, with these women we loved and be full participants in conversations around life.
We are so excited for the first episode of Season 3 of the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause to be an intergenerational conversation co-hosted by Aja Taylor and Cherizar Crippen! In this episode, Aja and Cherizar interviewed social justice advocate and activist Makani Themba and I about our experiences with menopause, sexual expression, intimacy and getting older. This intergenerational conversation, provided a space for exploration, connection, laughter and reflection.
Meet our Co-Host!
Aja Taylor is a facilitator (of processes, mischief, meetings and magic), freedom dreamer, aspiring sex educator, Advocacy Director at Bread for the City and one of the co-founders of Two Brown Girls Consulting Cooperative. She enjoys long walks on the beach talking about consent, helping folks reimagine their relationship to the erotic, ruining the day for politicians who think they won't deliver on their promises to Black people, and working with organizations seeking to really live up to their professed missions and values. IG: @HeyAjaGirl Twitter: @HeyAjaGirl
Cherizar Crippen is a Black + Indigenous bisexual troublemaker, mother to several plant babies and one very resilient fish. As a youth organizer, healer, and artist her current work includes facilitating intimate emergent spaces with social justice focused groups, introducing BIPOC youth and adults to ancestral healing practices, and divination. Cherizar is particularly invested in earning the respect of future generations by fostering the leadership development of our youngest freedom fighers. She is Sag Sun, Cancer Rising, Pisces Moon protected by the Ase’ of Iemanja, Ogum, and a legion of ancestors. IG: @alltheabove15
Meet our Guest!
Makani Themba is Chief Strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies based in Jackson, Mississippi. A social justice innovator and pioneer in the fields of change communications and community-led, justice-centered policy development, she has spent 30 years supporting organizations, coalitions and philanthropic institutions in developing high impact change initiatives. Higher Ground Change Strategies provides her an opportunity to bring her strong analytical skills, organizing knowledge and institution building expertise in support of organizations working to make powerful, transformative, vision-based change. IG: @hgchange Twitter: makani_themba
To take advantage of the discount form this episode's sponsor, KINDRA, click ourkindra.com/omi20
To Learn More about Us: www.blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause.com
“We are often ‘too busy’ to find time for solitude. And yet it is in the stillness that we also learn how to be with ourselves in a spirit of acceptance and peace. Then when we re-enter community, we are able to extend this acceptance to others. Without knowing how to be alone, we cannot know how to be with others and sustain the necessary autonomy.” --bell hooks
What year this has been. It's feels glib to say that it's been hard, but it has been and it's been hugely transformative for us all. I have been personally struck by how deeply this year has held a mirror up to our relationships. The nature of our connections to each other, the ties that bind us, the opportunities for healing, and the ways that love shows up, old familiar love as well new surprising love. It's also been a time of isolation that has led to deep introspection around my own evolving identity, relationships, healing as well as my connection to other Black people navigating aging and menopause. This introspection sometimes felt like sitting at the bottom of the ocean with different version of myself, excavating treasures, reclaiming lost souls and committing to further healing and love. Other times I've felt like Alice in the looking glass falling into a rabbit hole of curiosity that led me to more questions -- more connections. This curiosity led me many places, one of them wanting to explore how Black women and femmes who don't live in the US are experiencing this portal we call menopause.
In this last episode of Season 2 of The Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, I had the great pleasure to interview Karen Arthur who lives in the UK and Monika Odum who lives in Germany. Karen is an ex teacher now Fashion Creative, private sewing tutor, stylist and speaker who has been sewing for over 40 years. In the past few years she has focused on creating beautiful clothing for women who appreciate hand crafted care and slow fashion. She has just started a new podcast “Menopause whilst Black” that centers the experiences of Black women in the UK in a bid to diversify this topic. Monika Odum is 50 years old with her roots growing from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Germany where she was born, raised and lives. She has a 33yrs plus work life as a nurse in a variety of backgrounds, mostly on the ICU and is currently teaching at a nursing school. She is a firm believer in ancestor wisdom and writes because she loves it. She dares to be average, as she thinks of the black superwoman stereotype as a form of oppression. She is also a guest/contributing writer for Rosa Mag.
A quick word of thanks....
I want to take a moment to thank all our listeners! So many of you, no matter your age, have listened to the podcast, shared the podcast and supported the podcast. We have grown in our listenership by over 200% in over 19 countries in 2020! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I also want to thank my producer Mariah M. for hanging in there with me as we figured out how to continue interviewing people while quarantining and navigating one of the most dynamic and challenging years of our lives. Thank you Mariah.... you are magic! We are going quiet for the rest of year and commit to bringing more stories, more voices, more laughter, more healing and more truths related to this menopause aging journey. Until then, be well and be safe.
To learn more about Karen Arthur and Menopause Whilst Black, Follow her on IG at @menopausewhilstblack
To learn more about Rosa Mag, check out Rosa Mag https://rosa-mag.de/
To take advantage of the discount form this episode's sponsor, KINDRA, click ourkindra.com/omi20
When I was in my late 20s, I felt like I was going through a tremendous identity shift and growth spurt. The shift was from a more conventional aspirtationally bougie identity of my early 20s to one that was seeking to find my authentic self. The self at home in this body and understanding the origins of my culture beyond these shores. I was a single mom, working full time in the non profit sector, had stopped relaxing my hair (i.e. cut off my hair and was growing my first set of locs) and was seeking a spiritual path and practice that was more African in nature. From the outside looking in, old friends and some family members were perplexed, confused and some were concerned. I can tell you that my mother was worried about me. What was I doing? Why was I changing in a way that looked so different? Who was I becoming and would there still be room for our connection and love? I assured her that this growth was not an abdication of my love for her, our family or our community. It was just more me trying to find and love more of me. All of me.
There are people who see it before you do. They see who you are trying to become. They see what is emerging, sometimes with struggle, sometimes with grace and they support you. They can be peers who look like you who are also on their own journey, they can be elders who have walked the path you are currently on or they can be the oddest of allies, so compelled by your emerging truth that they invest in your transformation. Either way, they are willing to bear witnesses to the makings of you. In this episode, we explore identity, healing, pleasure and activism with Ignacio Rivera.
Ignacio G Hutía Xeiti Rivera, M.A. who prefers the gender neutral pronoun, They, is an Activist, Writer, Educator, Sex(ual) Healer , Filmmaker, Performance Artist and Mother. Ignacio has over 20 years of experience on multiple fronts, including economic justice, anti-racist and anti-violence work, as well as mujerista, LGBTQI and sex positive movements. Their work is influenced by their lived experience of homelessness, poverty and sexual trauma. Ignacio’s work is also driven by the strengths of identifying as a survivor, transgender, Yamoká-hu/Two-Spirit, Black-Boricua-Taíno and queer.
There are parts of this episode where we discuss sexual trauma and abuse.
You can follow Ignacio on IG Here:
For more information about Ignacio's works around healing trauma and pleasure, check out:
To take advantage of the discount from this episode's sponsor, KINDRA, click:
To learn more about the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, purchase our FIRST ZINE "Messages from the Menopausal Multiverse or buy merch, check us out at www.blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause.com
Love offerings are appreciated and accepted via cashapp, venmo or paypal:
Emergency Care Of Open Wounds/When It Hurts
Calmly rinse the wound with copious amounts of cold tap water. This will significantly reduce the possibilities of infection. If available, use clean linen applied firmly against the wound to inhibit bleeding. If the pressure is not adequate, do it again. Another method allows the bottom of a stainless steel saucepan to be applied to the wound. The cold of the pan reduces swelling as well as bleeding. A poultice of mandrake berries can be of great use also, until further care can be offered.
Emergency Care Of Wounds That Cannot Been Seen
Hold the victim gently. Rock in the manner of a quiet sea. Hum softly from your heart. Repeat the victim's name with love. Offer a brew of red sunflower to cleanse the victim's blood & spirit. Fasting & silence for a time refurbish the victim's awareness of her capacity to nourish & heal herself. New associations should be made with caution, more caring for herself.
Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo, Ntozake Shange
Where do the healing practices and wisdom of our ancestors live in your body? How do you access them, claim them, reanimate them? For some of us that will look like activating personal practices that may only be extended to ourselves and our families. For others, it may look like a practice that is offered to the community to assist others who's way of activating their healing is through connecting with you. They are healers who become a facilitator, mentor and guides to access health and well being for our bodies, minds and spirits. They hold the identities of student, apprentice, teacher, master teacher and see their journey as a practitioner as ever evolving, dynamic and sacred.
Karen Rose is a healer.
In this episode, we explore the healing journey of Karen Rose. Trained in Eastern and Western Herbal Medicine, Master Herbalist, Karen M. Rose created an outlet for her teachings and healing modalities with the opening of Brooklyn-based Sacred Vibes Healing and Sacred Vibes Apothecary in 2002. Her inspiration for this work began as a child in her native home of Guyana, where she was exposed to how African, Caribbean and Latin American traditions profoundly influenced plant medicine and community healing. The legacy of these lands is the foundation of Karen’s spiritual and healing practice.
Karen and her work have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including on The FEED, featuring culinary celebrity Marcus Samuelsson, the New York Times, Black Enterprise Magazine, Organic Life, and the New York Daily News. Aside from her dedication to healing, Karen is also a devoted mother of three, who she proudly believes are her best apprentices.
You can access Karen's healing and herbal offerings through her websites listed below:
IG: @empresskarenmrose @sacredvibesapothecary
Learn more about The Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause at www.blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause
Love offerings: Cashapp $omitutu Venmo: @omisade5
Become a patron: https://www.patreon.com/blackgirlsguidetomenopause
Things I remember about being 12...
Faded Glory jeans
A terrible hair cut that took 2 years to grow out
My parents got divorced
Starting junior high school
Being kissed for the first time
Being pressured to have sex for the first time
Starting my period
Starting a friendship that became a sisterhood that has lasted 41 years
Wanting to be seen...
In this episode of the Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, I was able to connect my inner 12 year old with the inner 12 year old of feminist writer, activist and journalist Mona Eltahawy and share our journeys around identity, healing, reclamation, power, voice and story.
Mona Eltahawy is an Egyptian award-winning columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. She is the author of two books "Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution," released April 2015, and "The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls" released in 2019. Mona was born on Aug. 1, 1967 in Port Said, Egypt and has lived in the U.K, Saudi Arabia and Israel. In November 2011, Egyptian riot police beat her, breaking her left arm and right hand, and sexually assaulted her and she was detained for 12 hours by the Interior Ministry and Military Intelligence. It was during that time that the Eqyptian Goddess Sekhmet revealed herself to Mona and became a part of her healing journey and further commitment to the destruction of patriarchy. Sekhmet is sun Goddess of war, destruction, plagues and healing. She has the head of a lion which is so appropriate given that Mona was born under the sign of Leo.
Mona's mission in life is to destroy the patriarchy! She is known for her ubiquitous “Fuck the patriarchy”, feminist writings and tenacious spirit. Enjoy!
Listener Advisory Note: There is are parts of Mona's story that share her experience of being sexually assaulted by the Egyptian police.
Find out more ways to support Mona's work Here
Full Link: https://www.patreon.com/join/monaeltahawy
Egypt's #Metoo movement Article
Full Link: https://msmagazine.com/2020/08/02/finally-the-feminist-revolution-has-begun-egypts-metoo-moment/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” ― audre lorde
When I started this podcast last year, I started with a vision of centering the narratives of Black women around menopause and ageing that resonated with me. Of course that meant that as cisgender, Black, heterosexual woman born and raised in the American South I needed to check myself on the fact that menopause, and all of the complexities that comes with it and ageing, doesn't just happen to cis hetero women. If this was going to to truly be a liberatory healing space of transformation for all my siblings (and some nibblings too) on this journey, it's critical to include the voices and stories of those who identify as femmes, gender non-conforming, or non-binary as well. We all have a story to tell. I am so honored and excited that my dear friend Mo George agreed to have conversation with me around how she experiences menopause as a queer butch lesbian. Enjoy!
Monique George or Mo (as she is often called) is currently the Program Officer for the NYC Equity Initiative at Open Society Foundations, where she co-manages a portfolio of $3 million dollars. She is also the cofounder of Workers 4 Racial Equity/W4 which launched in 2016 to address racial equity for black workers, as well as connect the issues of affordable housing with the issues of access to quality jobs. Mo's over 25 years of organizing experience begun in college where she worked locally with NYPIRG on varies environmental issues. Upon graduation, Mo began working with SEIU Local 1199 for close to 10 years.
After leaving 1199, Mo moved on to become the Lead Organizer at the Empire State Pride Agenda, where she fought for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. At Pride Agenda, Mo worked on various statewide campaigns including expanding their annual lobby day to over 1000 attendees and also being on the team that developed the organizing strategies that won Marriage Equality in New York State. After moved on from Pride Agenda, Mo joined Community Voices Heard (CVH) as the New York Chapter Director of Organizing. As a proud product of public housing, she felt that her past work at CVH helped to preserve public housing, and the campaign won over $700 million towards that preservation during her tenure. Mo joined Picture The Homeless (PTH) as the Executive Director in January 2017. Mo's organizing work has led her from meetings at the White House, to becoming a Professional Fellow with the U.S. Department of State through their work with the Greater Lakes Consortium out of Toledo Ohio.
This work has allowed her to travel across Eastern Europe to places such as Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, to teach community organizing as well as learn about challenges facing varies Eastern European communities. Mo holds her Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies from SUNY New Paltz and is completing her Master’s in Public Administration. When not working to save the world, she can be found reading a good book, traveling or just relaxing with her partner of over 10 years.
Check out our NEW website https://blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause.com/
Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause https://www.bonfire.com/store/black-girls-guide-to-surviving-menopause/
Cashapp $omitutu Venmo @omisade5 Paypal firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Allies https://publicallies.org/
" we would never leave you. we would never leave you here. we would never leave the world like this. that's why we put you here. you hear us? we put maps behind your eyes and over the entire sky. we put stories everywhere you stepped. but child services would have called it neglect."
Dub : Finding Ceremony, Alexis Pauline Gumbs
We all carry stories. Some of us like loose change absentmindedly left in a coat pocket. Others like an obedient acolyte carrying the sacred text of our grandmothers. Oftentimes, the stories we carry don't even belong to us. They belong to a lost relative, an old lover, or a dear friend. We declare fealty to the stories handed down to us through our lineage. The stories shared in the kitchen, at the family reunion or the hushed tones of a death bed. They are precious, they are specters that haunt, they are us. As we are transformed by age and time, our stories are invited to evolve. New perspective and sometimes new information changes the tenor of what happened. We get to turn the story over in our hands and touch the backing---see the work that went into it. No matter how we see it or how we treat it, it belongs to us and we are the star.
In this episode of The Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, we talk with Courtney Reid-Eaton about stories. Her story, the stories of her parents and her immigrant grandparents and the ways in which narratives shift and morph without loosing integrity as we age. Courtney is a culture worker, creative engine, spouse, mother, and Black Feminist. She has been the exhibitions director at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) since 2001, overseeing the selection, scheduling, curation, design, and installation of exhibits in all of the Center’s galleries and organizing related public programs; she also serves as the creative director of CDS’s pilot Documentary Diversity Project. In 2013, after attending her first anti-oppression workshop, she committed to pursuing an activist curatorial practice that primarily centers the work of people of color and women.
Courtney is also a visual artist, rooted in documentary expression, striving for an emancipatory practice that upends white supremacist frameworks. Her journey so far has taken her through theatre studies, work in magazine production, two children (now adults), a nonprofit community gallery, a documentary photography collective, a Montessori school, a transformative concentration at the Penland School of Crafts, to CDS, which continues to stretch and challenge her.
Check out our NEW website! https://blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause.com/
Wheel of Pleasure reference, https://www.instagram.com/afrosexology_/ , http://www.afrosexology.com/
One time love offerings can be sent to Cashapp, $omitutu Venmo, @omisade5 Paypal, email@example.com
To become a monthly sustainer of the BGG2SM, click the SUPPORT link at our website, https://blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause.com/
Please send your listener letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of us who follow astrology recall our first Saturn Return in our late 20's. Some people refer to your Saturn Return as a "cosmic rites of passage", a time period that happens between your 27th and 29th year of life and can last about 3 years (what fun). It is during that time that the planet Saturn returns to the the sign it was in the moment you were born. When it returns, Saturn brings with it adulthood rites, lessons, questions, decisions and relationships. Saturn is the planet of life lessons that can break you down to show you what you are made of to build you back up into who you can be. This planet is not only about hard work, it is about mastery. This returning to core of your nature, the stuff you are made of, is no cake walk, however it is what you make of it. As with most things in the cosmic world, Saturn returns on a cycle and about 27-29 years after it's first visit, Saturn returns again (Oh hello there.....).
Our second Saturn Return is a bit like a looking glass into the first. What do you see? What lessons did we learn there about identity, choices, relationships, career, etc.? How are those lessons resurfacing in both a retrospective as well as with new choices as to who we are while also being initiated into eldership? What will this planetary transit offer us this time in our late 50's and will we be open to those lessons?
In this episode of the Black Girls' Guide to Surviving Menopause, I had the distinct pleasure to speak with Barbara Jessie-Black who is entering her second Saturn Return. We talked about the lessons and gifts of this moment and how they connect to her feelings around identity, relationships, openness and change. Barbara was in Berlin, West Germany and lived overseas until the age of 16, when her father’s last military tour brought the family to Ft. Gordon, GA. She received her BBA from Augusta University in Augusta, GA, before moving to North Carolina where she has lived since.
During her 15 year career as a retail manager with a national retail chain, Barbara received her MBA from Meredith College, in Raleigh, NC and became co-founder of a not for profit organization whose mission it is to search for innovative ways to achieve socio-economic equalities in communities through holistic and entrepreneurship based education, to include education in “21st Century Jobs” technology and the STEM model.
Currently, Barbara is the President/CEO of CommunityWorx, a 68-year old organization, whose mission it is to enrich lives by building collaborative partnerships and transforming charitable donations into educational and community investments. Barbara considers herself a “life-long student” of all things holistic and spiritual, with emphasis on how those concepts influence ones activism. She is fluent in German, a yoga enthusiast, and includes in her spiritual practice.
" I found god in myself
& I loved her/I loved her fiercely”-- Ntozake Shange
“There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.
There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room. Too much space she takes.
There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting. She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure. She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it. She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body. This makes her dangerous.
She is dangerous.
And there she goes, that “too much” woman, making people think too much, feel too much, swoon too much. She with her authentic prose and a self-assuredness in the way she carries herself. She with her belly laughs and her insatiable appetite and her proneness to fiery passion. All eyes on her, thinking she’s hot shit.
Oh, that “too much” woman. . . too loud, too vibrant, too honest, too emotional, too smart, too intense, too pretty, too difficult, too sensitive, too wild, too intimidating, too successful, too fat, too strong, too political, too joyous, too needy—too much.
She should simmer down a bit, be taken down a couple notches. Someone should put her back in a more respectable place. Someone should tell her."
Mainstream white culture does not like rule breakers. Specifically, mainstream culture mocks, invisibilizes and punishes people who consistently live their truths out loud and challenge notions of white supremacy, patriarchy and misogyny. This is especially so for Black women and as we age, the politics of gender, race and identity are amplified by ageism. In this episode, we explore what it takes to live a full and healthy life, out loud, with Nia Wilson.
Nia Wilson is a Sagittarius, child of the Orisa Oya, cultural organizer, healer and all around bad ass. She is also the Co-Director of SpiritHouse, a Black women-led Healing Justice organization that utilizes the framework of CPR (culture, practice and ritual) to work with communities impacted by systemic oppression to heal and identify community derived ways to keep each other safe. She is also learning (unlearning in some cases) what is means to be well, whole, happy, soft and cared for by her family and community.
For more information about SpiritHouse, click the link: https://www.spirithouse-nc.org/
Harlem, NY March 19th Tea and Toddies Event Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bgg2sm-and-bdac-presents-tea-and-toddies-tickets-95543191257
Ayanna Pressley video reference: https://theglowup.theroot.com/exclusive-rep-ayanna-pressley-reveals-beautiful-bald-1841039847
SpiritHouse Tribe Member Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs Black Feminist Breathing Meditation:
Nap Ministry: IG @Thenapministry Blog https://thenapministry.wordpress.com/
You've been on my mind
Sister, we're two of a kind
I'm keepin' my eyes on you
I betcha think
I don't know nothin'
But singin' the blues
Oh sister, have I got news for you
I hope you think
That you're somethin' too..."
Miss Celie's Blues, The Color Purple
WHAT DO OUR COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS SOUND LIKE?
A laugh, greetings from old friends, sighs of understanding, tears of release and so much joy. Check out this clip from our very first intergenerational event in Washington, DC held at Calabash Tea and Tonics last fall. We co-hosted the event with DC native and community organizer/advocate Aja Taylor to a sold out room of Black women and femmes who were ready to talk to each other! 2020 will be the year we bring more intergenerational healing circle conversations to you where we talk about the same topics we explore on the podcast including change, pleasure, intimacy, vulnerability, love and life. We are kicking off 2020 with our first event in Harlem, NY on March 19th right in time for the vernal equinox!
Our co-host for this event is our movement and creative sister of the hear, Ebony Noelle Golden who is the founder of Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative. Check the link! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bgg2sm-and-bdac-presents-tea-a…
This is a BIPOC Space Only! See you March 19th Uptown!
What if we fully embraced the changes that comes with passing of time? Changes in our bodies, intimate relationships, friendships, career paths, etc. What if we didn't view these changes as a bad thing to be feared? What if we shifted the narrative to explore the liberation and joy in this process of becoming something new? What if menopause is more than hot flashes and gray chin hairs? What if we are more than fluctuations in weight and our moods?
What if.... We are sexy
We are creative
We are lush
We are powerful
We are reimagining
We are reinventing
We are vulnerable
We are wise
We are divine
What if perimenopause or menopause wasn’t an ending, but a portal to the next sacred iteration of you? What if?
North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green drops blessings like ripe mango into our laps. Walls breathe a heavy sighs of relief as she shreds the puny narratives we have about who we are and our power to reanimate and reclaim our medicine... our magic. She calls forth specters who resemble our own shadows and reminds us that we can, that we have no choice but to reknit ourselves back together with the medicine that never left us. It sits at the back of our throats waiting for release. It burns. It illuminates.
“Medicine is dark and thick like blood”
“Where does your creative medicine intertwine with your work?”
“How do you court your muse?”
“An anorexic muse is a dying muse”
“Medicine informs the muse, the muse informs the medicine. It is a sacred symbiotic relationship”
Thank you Mama Jaki. I feel like I left my body several times during our conversation. Thank you for spoon feeding me back myself when I was 5 years old, wise and believed in my own magic..
And so it is on the dark side of the moon.
Lionsgate Stardate 080819
Sovereignty, Awakening, Creativity, Power, Prosperity, Portal, Stargate ... Infinity.
It's Leo season and in this episode of The Black Girls Guide to Surviving Menopause, we are honored to share our interview with Leo Lana Garland with you!
Lana Garland IS aperture.
She is the portal through which our diverse narratives as Black folx can come through safe and intact. She uses her film camera and feline eyes to capture the shapes and stories that honors all of who we are, to honor our divinity. She bears witness to our sacred personhood with passion, integrity and care. She invites us to bear witness too. To view and experience what our divinity looks like when it is exalted and smooth or illegible and rough. She reminds us that our stories are worthy of being told and seen. She reminds us that we are worthy of love.
Lana is a native of Philadelphia, Pa and has worked as a Creative Director, Director, and Writer/Producer in television and film in the US and Europe, creating content for HBO, BET, and ESPN in America, and TV2 in Denmark. In documentary film, Lana has freelanced on films such as Bowling For Columbine and HBO’s Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives. She is an NATPE Fellow, a Gordon Parks IFP screenwriting finalist, a Telly Award winner, and an Emerging Artists Award winner from the Durham Arts Council. Lana is Fulbright Specialist, having taught film at Makerere University in Uganda, and the film curator of the Hayti Heritage Film Festival @Hayti heritagefilmfestival and SummerStage @goldenbeltcampus Golden Belt in Durham, NC. Her documentary shorts series, The Reservoir, collects stories of Black people surviving and overcoming different types of trauma. Currently, she is working on a sci-fi webseries and is one of the producers on The Land of Fish & Grits @landoffishngrits .
Join us on the dark side of the moon....
Delores Sanky “Mama Dee” Eaton was born June 30, 1930 in Montgomery, Alabama. My mother, Mary Kinsey Mcconner Burney, Ibaiye, was born 16 days later on July 16th that same year in Pitt County, North Carolina. Though born under different circumstances and realities in the American south, their paths in life were oddly similar. If you know anything about Cancerian women, you know they are fiercely protective of their loved ones, nurturing, emotional, affectionate, funny, trustworthy and steadfast. Having been raised by two Cancers as a fire sign, you would think I would have had an adverse reaction to all that watery moon mutability. But tell me what child doesn’t want to feel that their parents, especially their mother, thinks that they are the most special being in the world while reminding you that you have to move the furniture when you vacuum or the house isn’t really clean?
What l also know about these two women is that they always rose above their circumstances and realities their entire lives to know more, to do better and to make a way for their children. They rose above Jim Crow south to attend college seeking to be educated to whole new worlds. They rose above gender norms and roles to boldly chart their own path in the world leaving the South behind for a period of time to experience the world on the west coast and in New York. They rose above conventional wisdom around marriage and partnership to autonomously choose their partners in love and life with their eyes wide open seeking radical love based on mutual trust, bold communication, respect and intelligence disregarding age or station. The same year my mother left this earthly realm, Delores "Mama Dee" Eaton became Che's teacher at her African-centered Sankofa Children's House. That year, she not only deprogrammed him from a terrible first year in public school, she pressed her loving wisdom and belief of his Black Genius into his 6 year old body. He is 27 years old now and that time, care and belief carried him all the way through to graduate from Howard University 4 years ago.
Mama Dee not only bears witness to the truth of our brilliance and trauma, she speaks on it with white heat precision and eloquence. She has used her Cancerian magic to massage the poison of white supremacy out of the skin and spirit of our children and she replaced it with fierce protection and audacious joy. She is nurturer. She is warrior. She is teacher. She is love. I give thanks to have her in our lives and I continue to follow her amazing blueprint for always believing in and loving our people she has shared with me all those years ago. I’m honored that she agreed to be my first Crone interview.
Hey Folks! The response to The Black Girls’ Guide to Surviving Menopause has been amazing! Thank you to all our new listeners and subscribers. We want to hear from you! Send us a listener letter to decolonizingthecrone@gmail and in the subject line put “LISTENER LETTER”. Your letters can be questions or thoughts that we can discuss with our guest host or they can be offerings the guide we will be creating. Either way, we want to share questions, thoughts and collective wisdom from you! We look forward to hearing from you on the dark side of the moon!
This is a new place. 52, divorced, one adult child, one preteen about to start middle school, parents gone, and reimagining what my work identity will be after 25 years of social justice work. It feels so foreign, exciting and scary. When did I arrive on the dark side of the moon? Am I alone here?
There is so much ritual around your first period as a girl. Within in your family circle, culture and circle of friends, it seems like everyone is waiting the arrival of this marker-- the portal to womanhood. There are books like “Are you there God it’s me Margaret” and “Our Bodies, Ourselves. There is the painful 6th grade sex education class, training bras and the highly inaccurate information around what it is and what it will feel and look like from our peer group. There are no such things for women as they enter the white water of perimenopause to show you how to journey through to the end, to the other side of your cycle into cronehood. No dialogue about sex drive, weight gain, gray chin hairs (or any place else) ageing parents or parenting adult children, death, life, joy, life or learning. No reassurances that you are not crazy and there should be.
This episode shares my personal journey and exploration around aging, menopause, the manifestation of Decolonizing the Crone and what people can expect in future episodes of The Black Girls’ Guide to Surviving Menopause. Our guest host is Angel Dozier of Be Connected Durham.
What is the Black Girls Guide to Surviving Menopause? Who is Omisade Burney-Scott and why does she want to curate spaces and dialogues which Black women over 50 that cultivates open conversations about "the change", shapeshifting, menopause, love, life, white supremacy, patriarchy, moon phases and the crone identities? There is no guide, book, journal or courses and what many of us experience culturally in cloistered way. We are lighting the path for those who are walking in their cronedom now and for those who will come after us. Welcome to the dark side of the moon.