The month of March has a lot of things attached to it, but in recent memory, Women’s History Month has been a large topic of conversation. It's that wonderful time of year where companies peddle out their supposed diversity and act like they really care about women. Maybe some are genuine, but I have a feeling that much of it is done for optics. Caring or pretending to care about marginalized groups is trendy right now, but that’s a blog for another time. It just seems that as soon as the stores take down their African print and commercials featuring black people, it’s time to start the rollout for Women’s History Month.
Everyone celebrates or interacts with this month differently. A couple of blogs ago, I said that I was going to make more of an effort to interact with the words of Black women. I’m happy to say I feel like I did just that. Not only was I reading about Black women, but I listened to them as well. I would like to share some of the cool stuff that I came across in the month of March.
Ever since my short project I completed with National Geographic a year ago, I’ve made sure to keep my ear to the streets to what's going on with the global non-profit that I have a loose attachment to. In December or January, it was announced that a new podcast was going to released surrounding black divers searching for sunken slave ships. To top it all off, this project was led by Tara Roberts, a writer who was inspired by Divers With a Purpose. She just knew she had to be a part of what they were doing. She applied for a Nat Geo fellowship and the rest is history. No literally, Tara Roberts made history as the first Black woman to grace the cover of the National Geographic magazine. She’s gotten tons of press over the project, which is so well deserved. I heard about the upcoming podcast but forgot when it dropped (January 27,2022) until March. So this month, I’m slowly listening to the six part series as Tara narrates the work she’s been doing with these black divers as they search for slaveships to retell the story of the African slave trade in a brand new way. I’m on part three of the podcast series and I’m loving how Tara incorporates interviews, narration, and even spoken word from the poet Alyea Pierce into telling this amazing story.
If you’ve been following me for some time, then you know that I am a Christian. Some would say that this is the worst time to be a Black Christian, but I would have to disagree. I believe now is the best time to be a Black Christian. Why? Because we are in a time where there is new information available, and most importantly (to me anyways), Black folks are leading many of the discussions and releasing amazing resources to help the Black Christian in their spiritual walk. Two of my favorite spiritual resources are the brainchildren of Black women. The first of which is the Jude 3 Project.
Jude 3 Project was founded by Lisa Fields, who is a black woman that’s ushered in a movement of apologetics for the Black Christian in the modern day. Jude 3 Project has been around for a few years now, and Lisa has hosted several events, podcasts, and released a curriculum Through Eyes of Color, all with the singular cause of helping the African American Christians know what they believe and why they believe it. Almost any question that folks can ask, Jude 3 Project probably has an answer for it. Check out their website and their Youtube to see the work they are doing.
All my Black women readers really need to check out this next resource: Truth’s Table. If you’ve never heard of them…. I’m sorry. They describe themselves as “midwives of culture for grace and truth.” Since 2017, they have been building “a table for Black women by Black women.” These are some of the most astute women I’ve ever heard talk about the Gospel and life in a way that leaves you awestruck. Whereas in most settings, Black folks have to dial down their blackness and assimilate, at Truth’s Table, Black women can just be. They have great talks, interesting guests, and highlight amazing work that Black women are doing. I first heard about them because they interviewed Lecrae a while ago. Since then, I’ve had my ear to some of what they have been doing. I dip in and out every so often to the podcast but I dipped back in just in time for the start of their sixth season. The theme for this season is The State of The Black Church, and maaaaan! They set that thang off! From talking about their own experiences with the Black Church, to the first guests of the season, they are off to a strong start. It’s great to be reminded that the Black Church started in Africa and not North America. They recently released their fourth episode on March 26, 2022, so I will be diving into that in the near future.
Truth’s Table is also releasing a book! The trio: Dr. Christina Edmondson, Ekemini Uwan, and Michelle Higgions are releasing a work titled Truth’s Table: Black Women’s Musings on Life, Love, and Liberation that is scheduled for release in April. Click the link to pre-order their book and perhaps consider becoming a partner on their Patreon and co-laboring with them on the work they are doing. If you are not convinced, check out at least one episode of their podcast and let me know what you think!
As if Truth’s Table wasn’t doing enough, they have started a second podcast titled “Get In The Word With Truth’s Table.” This is actually a daily Bible reading podcast where Ekemini Uwan and Dr. Christina Edmondson read the Bible to the listener. This is meant to read the entire Bible to the listener in one year and was released on January 1, 2022. Although it was released in January, I didn’t discover it until March, so I just started listening to it. I’m seeking to incorporate it into my daily reading and also have my teenage daughter listen to it. I figured it would be a powerful thing to have Black women reading the entire Bible to my daughter.
I recently finished listening to Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming. I know I’m late to the party, but I’m glad to have arrived. Last year I started an Audible membership and I have made attempts to listen to more Black authors. I’m very partial to authors who narrate their own audiobooks, and Michelle Obama’s was no exception. I didn’t really listen to her too much when she was in the White House, but this book gave me thirteen hours of her voice and I never grew tired of it. She was able to describe people and situations in a way that made me feel like I was with her in her memories. I forgot when I started the book, but I would take quick dips into it. For me, books are best digested slowly so you savor every line and take in every page. After listening, I see why so many people showed up for her book tour she had a few years ago. Michelle Obama is a national treasure and I’m glad I spent Women’s History Month with her book.
Of course I have to mention Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. I heard about the nomination and saw all the Black women on my timeline rally around her…. And then the questioning started. I’ll be honest, I only listened to a minute or so of it on NPR and stopped. I knew what the rest of the Black America already knew: this Judge was more qualified than anyone on the bench but she would be questioned as if she was incompetent. This narrative is nothing new. As someone who is married to a Black woman, I hear about the ways Black women are treated. Many times I see it up close in person in real time. The experience that many saw play out on national television confirmed what we already knew: Black women, ya’ll ain’t crazy. That kind of treatment is happening everywhere. We’ve all heard the adage I wish still wasn’t true: “We have to work twice as hard to make it half as far.” Black women, keep going. Know that you are seen, heard, and that you are worthy of everything you are striving for. “You are your ancestors' dreams given wings.”
This was my March in a nutshell. I spent a lot of time intentionally engaging with the works of Black women, and it doesn’t just stop in March. I have a ton of books in my Goodreads “Want To Read” list and my Audible wishlist. I read the posts of the Black women I’m friends with on Facebook to see what they are saying, what perspectives they bring. If you noticed, all the work I engaged with was based around the literal voices of Black women. There’s nothing like listening to a Black woman talk or tell a story. I encourage you to check out some of the things I mentioned and also comment on some work from other Black women that you think I should check out.