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Excellence is a Black Woman, Part One

Black women and Black girls smiling during a conference about Black women being excellent.

Excellence is a Black Woman, Part One

Dear Black women … thank you. This year, I’ve danced with Alice Walker, laughed with Nikole Hannah-Brown, and thanked Charlayne Hunter-Gault for existing. My selected word for 2023 – power – manifested in ways that astounded me. 


Here’s Part 1 of a recap of an extraordinary year …


January: Kicked off the year with an extended-family vacation to Hawaii! In addition to invaluable quality time with my loved ones, I got to see my sorors serving all mankind during an MLK Day Parade in the streets of Honolulu. 

Black women marching in a parade. Playbill for The Tina Turner Musical, a phenomenal Black woman, singer, and actress.   Four women standing and smiling at an event honoring Enid Draluck and other women of excellence.


February: Experienced “Tina” with my friend/theater buddy Raushanah and wrote this about what Tina Turner and Angela Bassett mean to Black women. Shortly after this was published, we stood up for Angela Bassett when the Oscars played in her face AGAIN … and shed tears in May when we lost an icon. 

March: “I got all my sisters with me” rang true when a traumatic classroom experience led me and my fellow PhD students and candidates to reclaim our time, power, and futures. 

April: I was a guest speaker for “Girls Ignited.” This phenomenal event is the brainchild of the phenomenal Krystal Minor, businesswoman and friend from college! I was honored to talk to young women about the importance of proper and age-appropriate social media usage. The biggest win of the day: Having my family in tow: My cousin, her daughter, and great-niece. It was an awesome day! 


Eight Black women holding awards and smiling at Girls Ignited event. One Black woman and two Black girls smiling and showing peace signs


May: I, along with my WomenLead colleagues, was in the crowd to witness Enid Draluck receive a Woman of Excellence Award from United Way. Enid is the reason WomenLead exists, so she is someone important in my life. Also honored that day: Ruth E. Carter, my soror and 2-time Academy Award winner! 

June: Had the ULTIMATE girls trip with my friends Torise and Angel. These two have been besties since childhood, so I really felt honored to be on a trip with them. And this was the PERFECT vacation. There’s nothing like experiencing something new with people who are down to have fun. Usher. Mob Museum. Wax museum. Pool days and Vegas nights. These girls just aren’t friends — they are family. With that said … do not ask us what else happened in Vegas … 

Three happy Black women in a pit of poker tokens with a Vegas sign in the background Four Black women posing and smiling at different heights in front of a colorful backdrop Megan Thee Stallion performing on stage


July: Speaking of family, another cousins’ trip was underway to our favorite excursion: Essence Festival! This time, we switched it up by going on a Sunday — securing an amazing hotel for a super low price – and were within walking distance to everything. And … I finally got to see Megan Thee Stallion! I love her and will not be taking questions at this time. 

August, Part 1: I got my whole entire life at the National Association of Black Journalists conference. After a hiatus from active membership, this conference was exactly what I needed. I reconnected with friends and made new ones. The Black press has been pivotal in civil rights for as long as we’ve needed them, so meeting trailblazers like Nikole Hannah-Jones and Roland Martin; catching up with Errin Haines, Chandra Thomas Whitfield, and Caresse Jackman; and being surrounded by Black excellence took my breath away. Part 2 … coming soon … 

Nikole Hannah-Jones and Davia Rose Lassiter, two Black women NABJ signage in red and white


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