Professional Black Girl Part 1

In this episode, Evelyn Alvarez joins us to talk about the many lives that make her a Professional Black Girl. We discuss colorism and the complexities of the Afro Latinidad identity in mainstream and social media and the ways in which the platforms for broader representation are expanding. We ask in what ways can we appreciate the unapologetic energy of millennials while also teaching them how to respect experience?

Marielle Franco: Black, Lesbian, Human Rights Activist and murdered at 38.

Franco, was unapologetic in her quest to create a just and equitable world for Black people, poor people, marginalized people.
I’m sure she was afraid.
It would be impossible for her not to be.
I’m sure her loved ones, feared for her safety.
In a place where, the police are the real terrorists, how could they not fear for her?
I’m sure she knew her time would soon come to an end.
How could anyone who was dedicated to ending anti black racism not be prepared for their death…their murder.

Clare-Hope Ashitey: Professional Black Girl

I totally get where they are coming from. What I see in her is a humanity that Black actresses aren’t normally allowed to portray. Women who may have flaws but at the same time are in constant progression and development. I definitely want to see strong Black female characters on shows, but I don’t want the portrayal of that strength to be devoid of their humanity, stripped of their right to be diverse, complex and flawed.

Who Gon’ Stop Her, Huh?

This award is important for a few reasons:

It honors someone who is moving like a freight train through Hollywood.
The award is named after a song by Jay-Z and pre-sunken place, Kanye.
I made it up and it’s dope.
Because it’s Women’s History Month, this award is recognizing another Black woman favorite of mine and apparently everyone else. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room or should I say, the last Black unicorn in the room.

La Guarachera de Cuba: Celia Cruz

Cruz recast’s Gloria Gaynor’s famous “you’re not welcome anymore,” heartbreak anthem as a song about resilience and joy in the face of trials. The struggle for freedom, the tears for the friends we leave behind, the perseverance and the love for our people that carries us forward. The ancient song, hands on drums and feet dancing, the blood of our villages that we carry across all borders and barriers, into spaces that do not always love us but where we must love in order to survive.

Kemet Queens: Melissa Harville-Lebron

I made a post on Instagram a few weeks back after hearing Chris Rock on his new Netflix special Tambourine, where he said, “only children and women are loved unconditionally; but men are loved based off of what they can provide.” At the time, more than being funny the line felt true and so considered it fair game to repost. That is until I actually wrapped my brain around the saying and started to unpack it that I realized, what he said was complete and utter BS.

Sorry, These Seats are Reserved for Black Women

I think it would be healthy to end Black history month with a lunch and learn at jobs across the country. On February 28th, there should be a fishbowl activity where Black folks and other people of color sit in the inner circle while White folks sit on the outer circle and just listen for a full hour about the feelings and experiences that we have had just working in their institutions (and this obviously wouldn’t be enough time.) This needs to happen without any backlash from HR and without interruption.