2019: resolutions & r. kelly

In the Media

Hey y’all!

🎵guess who’s back? back again?🎵
if you guessed me, your favourite conscious black woman, then you’re right!

I took some of my own advice and did some rest and recuperate this break with a LOT of food and a LOT of anime watching so now I’m back in action and ready for 2019!


Though, I can’t forget some really exciting things that happened for me in 2018! I started my PR program which lead me to create this blog which allowed me to create an ever-growing community of folks who want to learn, listen and grow together. 🤘

This week, I wanted to talk about someone who’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue especially in the black community… R. Kelly. 


If you were like me and had Ignition (Remix) at the top of every pre playlist, this can come as a shock to you. I had no idea about Kelly’s predatory past and seriously thought that the relationship between him and Aaliyah was just a rumour.

img_3522 2

Although, one of the most troubling things that came out of the reveal of Surviving R. Kelly was not just the disturbing details from the survivor’s experiences, but the number of people who either didn’t speak up or even worst, actually support R. Kelly.


This hurt me deeply. One of the quotes from the docuseries that struck me the most was one of the survivors replying to the question of why people didn’t notice Kelly hanging around teenagers and she simply responded: “everyone noticed, but nobody cared because we’re black girls.”

To think that it has been OVER TEN YEARS for most of these women to, not only have their voices heard, but to have their experiences taken seriously. I talk about this time and time again but it seems like y’all aren’t hearing me when I say PEOPLE DO NOT CARE ABOUT BLACK WOMEN’S PAIN. Not always intentionally, but 2018 has showed me that it has something has been swept under the rug for too long and I want to change that.


So if you’re a part of the DOACBW fam (which I hope you are!), here are our resolutions for 2019:

  1. Make your voice heard but never forget to use your privilege to raise the voices of those who are overlooked
  2. Believe in your truth and never stop standing up for yourself

So to end off on a happier note, make sure that this year you’ll be you, be true and we’ll make it through 💕



A Conscious Black Woman

the angry black woman (revisited): self-reflection & self-care

Life of a Black Girl

I began this blog as a mark for a school assignment. My own lived experiences were an easy topic to write and I always have a lot to say so DOACBW was born. However, it’s evolved into so much more than that for me.

In my first blog post, I said: “to be black and conscious is to be in a constant state of rage.” I feel that quote in my heart, mind and soul because it is tough to know that you’re in a society that has been systemically built against you. I see it in the media, in our laws and sometimes I even see it right in front of my face – combine this with the idea that to be a strong black woman, I am meant to be self-reliant & self-contained; it’s enough to make anyone angry, don’t you think?


GIF from Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

Writing this blog has been cathartic for me. Being able to speak up and have those conversations that I may have not been able to approach otherwise is invaluable. This is self-care for me. I think that black women, in particular, should focus on this for themselves to avoid the “black superwoman syndrome” that diminishes our ability to be vulnerable, ask for help and seek comfort.


Image from Yoga with Allaya.

So here’s a short list I’ve compiled to care for myself:
(because remember, Superman wasn’t strong, he was invincible)

  1. Alone time
    Everyone needs time alone to decompress and self-reflect. My good friend, Trevor, writes a blog about the value of time spent alone so instead of forcing ourselves to be “on” all the time for others, let’s put that energy back where it belongs: for yourself.


    Image from TheSlumflower.com                                                        (BUY THIS BOOK, IT’S AMAZING)

  2. Dance
    Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to dance. It is a way for me to express every emotion that I can’t always put into words. Plus, it’s fun!


    Image of me at Miami Beach.

  3. Get outside
    We are currently in the depths of winter (yuck), but sometimes going outside for even a 5-minute walk is a great way to get out of a funk.


    Image of me with my Pi Beta Phi wings on Grouse Mountain

  4. Your body is a temple
    My father always tells me that the body is resilient and that it will do what needs to so long as I treat it right. Do I follow this sentiment all the time? No, I definitely ate Wendys AND sushi yesterday. However, I drank a lot of water and got the right amount of sleep I needed to so it’s baby steps in the right direction.


    Image from SpiritualCleanisng.org

  5. Surround yourself with love
    I am fortunate to have so many people who fill my life with joy, light and constant support. I have NO desire for negative people and the minute I notice that someone is consuming that light, I show them the door. Life is hard sometimes and you don’t need anyone who is going to make it harder, intentionally or not.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”

– Audre Lorde

The elephant in the room: now that my class is done, what am I going to do with this blog?

Well, the show ain’t over until the fat lady sings so the only thing I know is that no matter if continue these conversations I have with you all in person or online, they will continue.

Speaking of which, check me out on December 13th. DOACBW is collaborating with the Artbox Collective!


Until then, I’m taking my own advice and taking a little break from blogging. Don’t worry, this is not goodbye. It’s just see you later. 😘


A Conscious Black Woman

the POC perspective: culture & confusion

Life of a Black Girl

I’m sure you’ve noticed I talk about the POC culture in this blog, how things are different for us based on how you were raised or the experiences we’ve grown up with.

However, another big part of POC culture is confusion. Think about the term “African-American” – It is known as the politically correct for black individuals, but what does that really mean? Very few of us know our African roots.



Image from salt. by Nayyirah Waheed


My mother was born in England and my father was born in Jamaica and when they have thought about tracing their ancestry, they know that they will eventually hit a dead end – not because of lack of documentation, but rather extermination as black slaves had to take on their slave masters’ name thus erasing their history.


african american

Image from Instagram.


These are only some sentiments of confusion in black culture specifically. It becomes even more complicated from a bi-racial perspective. This is why I wanted to give the talking stick to someone who also knows the struggles of ethnic ambiguity so I asked Joanna also known as Professional Sad Girl to speak to her experience as a mixed race POC:

Growing up, I started to realize that there was no one who really looked like me. In fact, my parents bought me two dolls when I was born, one white and one brown, because they couldn’t find any that actually looked like me. I didn’t even look particularly like my parents, and my mom was occasionally asked where I was adopted from when we were in public. I spent the majority of my childhood trying to find characters in books and television that I felt like I could relate to in image, with no real success.



Image from Baby & Doll.


Racial ambiguity can be pretty lonely. Looking like no one else makes it hard for me to find communities of belonging. Part of this relates to my experience as the child of immigrants: I can’t fully identify with Canadian culture, but I also can’t truly relate to their home culture. Racial and ethnic groups are a great way for POCS to connect with a group of others with similar life experiences, but as a racially ambiguous person I’ve never felt like I could belong within one, or that I would be co-opting a space or identity that’s not really my own.

On one hand, I recognize that I have the unique privilege of evading stereotypes and perceptions associated with specific racial and ethnic groups; sometimes my racial ambiguity and the confusion that surrounds it gives me the opportunity to define myself based on my own personality and values. But that’s only sometimes. A much more common reality I’ve faced is that people treat my ethnic ambiguity like the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter; basically, they take the unidentifiable nature of my race and project whatever they want me to be.



Image from Pottermore.com


For example:
• White friends throughout my life have considered me to be a “tan white girl”
• People of Latinx and Hispanic people have spoken to me in Spanish and been annoyed when I explained that I actually was not Latinx/Hispanic/Spanish
• I’ve actually had a man try to convince me that I was lying when I told him that I was not from the Middle East

When I was younger, I really searched for tangible ways to feel a sense of belonging and define myself. Since I attended a dominantly white elementary school, that translated into appearing as “white” and behaving as “white” as possible. The past five years of my life has been a race to reclaim my actual culture, my ethnic ambiguity, and present myself on my own terms while refusing to passively let others impose their ideas upon. I’m still learning and still figuring it out, but it’s a step.



A Conscious Black Woman


A Professional Sad Girl

how to speak up: advocacy or aggression?

In The News

I saw a post on Instagram this week from Splendid Rain Co. – a company that produces pro-black clothing with powerful and provocative messages. The owner runs the page and she is also an activist.


Image from Splendid Rain Co’s Instagram.

I personally love her brand, but Etsy recently removed her shop from their shops (article here) and then reinstated it causing the young designer to aggravation and frustration. She has always been vocal about her feelings, but this one really made she made me think. She said that she’s been getting a lot of backlash because people say that her “sassy black woman” attitude makes it “easy for racists” to use against her in arguments and that she is “smarter than saying f*** you” to certain individuals who offend her. 


Image from Splendid Rain Co’s Instagram.

This hit home for me because I have trained myself to never raise my voice or appear angry in arguments about race. I thought that because I don’t want others to think that my emotions overrule my logic, but now I think that a large part doesn’t want people to see my blackness in these conversations.


Image from Splendid Rain Co’s Instagram.

My friend Tomachi and I talk about this a lot. The idea that in the fight for black rights, we must be in the front lines without ammo – engaging in any uncomfortable conversation and remaining tight-lipped in the face of adversity. Tomachi thinks this is absolute garbage and that black woman have especially carried this burden for too long. I agree this is twisted and yet, it is basically the purpose of my blog. 🙃

marginalized peeps

Image from Splendid Rain Co’s Instagram.

This has opened my eyes and is something that I want to work on for myself. If I want to tell someone go kick rocks and exit a conversation, I am entitled to especially as an act of self-care. This doesn’t diminish my intelligence, ability to connect with others or my advocacy in the black community.


Image from Splendid Rain Co’s Instagram.

Although, I am not doing all the work! Allies and hopefully soon-to-be allies, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. While I want to have these conversations with you, understand that it is draining and upsetting for all minority individuals to explain to you the different ways that society has let us down.


Image from Splendid Rain Co’s Instagram.


A Conscious Black Woman

“I’ll never let y’all try to tell me I’m “better than” my culture or the ties I have to it. This goes for anyone … I’m here fighting for loud black girls, ghetto black girls, black women who are sex workers, trans black people, lgbtq+ black people, and everyone who’s been left off the spectrum of deserving human decency because of who they are or what they choose to do. Don’t like it? Unfollow.”

– Olatiwa Karade, creator of Splendid Rain Co.

the concrete ceiling: being a POC and getting promoted

Life of a Black Girl

Hey everyone!

As the weather gets colder and my internship period quickly approaches, I’ve been wondering about my future in my potential career in public relations. As a woman of colour, it’s quite the scary thought – will I peak at some point because of my gender AND race rather than because of my merit?

This is why I wanted to discuss the glass ceiling for women of colour this week and I’ve even made a handy-dandy FAQ so we can cover all of our bases for this complex topic!


How to Get This Bread When The World Only Wants To Give You a Slice

What is a glass ceiling?

The glass ceiling is a metaphor used to represent an invisible barrier that keeps minority groups from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy. The term was coined by feminists when talking about women’s professional and economic inequality ie. the wage gap.



Image from Washington Technology.



Isn’t the wage gap a myth?

Now, if you’re a self-proclaimed “egalitarian” who doesn’t believe in the wage gap and says things like this:



Image from Know Your Meme.


You probably should just stop reading now.

If you’re simply unaware of the wage gap, I’ll explain to you.

The wage gap is the difference in earnings between women and men in the workplace.

It is the indicator of women’s economic inequality and varies by country. For example, Canadian women workers earned an average of 69 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2016.



Image from Supply & Chain Executive.



But feminism has progressed so much! Are you sure the wage gap still exists?



Image from Twitter.




So then, what’s the concrete ceiling?

It is undeniable that the glass ceiling is even lower for women of colour (other than Asian women). Based on your race as a woman, you get paid even less.


Image from California Women’s Law Center.


So when we talk about the concrete ceiling, it refers to the barriers women of colour face being even more difficult to penetrate and the inability to “see through it to glimpse the corner office” as stated by Catalyst President Sheila Wellington.


So what does this mean for me if I’m a woman of colour about to enter the workplace?

I actually don’t know. I want to believe that the world is fair and just, but that’s always not true.

I think the most important thing is to find a company that aligns with your values. I was lucky enough to land an internship at a PR company where I felt comfortable voicing my opinions even as early as in the interviewing stages. I’m so excited to develop myself as a professional there and see where my career path takes me.


Whatever, minorities get hired and promoted because of affirmative action so I probably won’t even get a job!



Image from Temple News.


I’ll just leave that right there for you.



A Conscious Black Woman

pwi: black folks, white school

Life of a Black Girl

Last week was amazing! So many of you opened to me about interracial dating on my Instagram and I had the chance to read a lot of your opinions on the matter. This meant so much to me!


Due to this, I wanted to open up the discussion once again and try something new. I wanted to have a “his / hers comparison” so I asked my friend, Mark, to share his experience with me.


Funny enough, Mark and I are both from Brampton, Ontario; even though, we never crossed paths before. Our backgrounds are a bit different, but what we have in common is that we both go to Western University which means that we both go to a PWI – a Predominantly White Institution. 

Now a lot of you might think that being a black student at a PWI is like this all of the time:


Image from Buzzfeed


But don’t worry, it’s only like that some of the time! That’s why Mark and I will recount our experiences and you can see a side-by-side view of what it was like for us at a PWI.


B: Coming to Western University, I was super excited as it was the only university that I wanted to go to (other than University of British Columbia, but my parents wouldn’t let me go that far). My biggest fear was not the lack of diversity, but the party image. I was pretty sheltered and came from private schools and a performing arts school so I was very used to being the only or one of the few black kids in my class. This placed me in the “oreo” category – black on the outside, white on the inside.


Image from Buzzfeed


M: The time between the day I received my acceptance into Western University and the day I was set to move into residence was filled with anxiety. Coming from the city of Brampton, where cultural and ethnic diversity was the norm, I feared that I would not be accepted into the Western community. How would an awkward and goofy black kid from the GTA fit in with the likes of private school kids? I had never even heard of Canada Goose until I moved to London!


Image from KitaAdams.


B: Once I got to UWO, I quickly got over my “party fear” and my friends in my residence became my family. These people became and continue to be my supports throughout my discovery of myself. Being a black female in a sorority and other predominantly white groups sometimes left me feeling a bit lost at times, but I have great friends who embrace and remind who I am.


M: But what I expected was much different than what I would experience. My years at this university have been the greatest and worst moments of my life. From meeting people who I consider my family to recognizing the effects of mental health, my time there was nothing but ordinary. But throughout that time, I was always me. I never once had to change to ‘fit in,’ and I never had to check someone for their ignorance.


Image from Mark’s Facebook.


Mark’s and my experiences cannot speak for all POCs in PWIs. But I want Mark to close this one as his words are key advice to anyone to thinking about going to / are in a PWI.


M: I recognized who I was, who I want to surround myself with, and what I wanted to get out of this experience. In doing so, I refused to let anyone ruin that for me. I was unapologetically me and I have become a better person because of it. I think the message that I am trying to send here is one of self-love and self-acceptance. It is only once you start losing sights of who you are that you become threatened by change and new experiences. Stay true to yourself and, trust me when I say that, you will enjoy any environment that you are in.



A Conscious Black Woman