Happy Black Womanists: It AINT NO MYTH!!

While thinking about doing “31 Days to Reset Your Life” that a friend passed on to me from this neat website called Happy Black Woman I got to thinking about a number of conversations that I’ve had over the past year about the myth of the Angry Black Woman (ABW).  As I go through the website and examine the overlapping themes that come up, I recognize a couple of things that finally make me realize why I am happy to be who I am & happy to be growing into all the my mother, father, myself and the ancestors imagined me to be.  I grow into my future and the expectations of greatness.  I grow into a person that is comfortable in her own skin and the skin that others project on to her.  I become the HBW & ABW all in one.  I become ME!!

Peaces of Meye

As my 30th birthday approaches and my passport expires, I am forced to think about a new reality that I face as I “transition” into the next phase in my life.  Now to me the big 30 is not so big…BUT this is a great opportunity to focus on a transition that will be meangful in my life (even if I dont recognize it until later in my life course).  Within this I start to think about the broader impact of my travels and experiences and the reason why I have become so interested in the travel experiences of women especially Black women.  I found my greatest understanding of why I grew so fond of this concept while chatting with my sister & through an exchange with a wonderful person that responded to email updates I sent while living in Zambia.

The exchange between my sister and I came after she visited me for the second time in New York City.  After a long discussion she opened up to me about how she was inspired by the freedom of travel and the openness that she found in a city that is known for its tough and grimy exterior.  The lessons that she learned about the spirit of the city and how the tough reputation was simply a shell to the love and warmth that she felt in the city.  She shared that without the ability to step outside of her comfort zone (which is the small town that we grew up in) she would have never been able to learn so much about herself, the world, and our family.  The experience opened her up to happiness, love and, expression that she had never recognized.  Her travel her to grow in a way she never expected.

On the other hand the story of the woman who I spoke to about my travels in what I would call my second home (Monze, Zambia) touched me in a way that I would have never thought possible.  It all came with a simple conversation about short updates that I sent during my time in a place that CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER!!  My friends mother made a short statement “Ogonnaya, thanks so much for sending out those photos of your travels in Africa.  I have never seen that side of Africa before.”  Initially I didn’t think much of the words of this woman.  I simply accepted the compliment and told her additional stories about my trip.  But after thinking about this statement a little, I asked her a follow-up question which made all the difference in the world.

“What do you mean this side of Africa?” I asked.

“Well everyone looked so happy and healthy.  I am so used to seeing sad depressing pictures of people….I never considered taking a trip to Africa before but after those pictures I realized it would be an interesting place to visit.”

At this point we began on a conversation which illuminated my consciousness and catapulted my understanding of the importance of words, pictures, music and all elements that can be used to make a powerful story.  This is what it means to be a HBW & ABW.   The coming together of thoughts and ideas that shatter our comfortable existence and propel us into a place that we never even knew existed.  This is the place where myths are shattered and the Travelling Womanists Exist.  This is our future.  This is why we share our stories.  I am proud to continue to share and look forward to my continued travels.  I am proud to be HBW & ABW all in 1!

Peace B. Still,



~ by travelling womanists on January 31, 2011.

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