Professional Black Girl: Video Series Celebrates ‘Everyday Excellence’ of Black Women

Professional Black Girl: Video Series Celebrates ‘Everyday Excellence’ of Black Women and Girls and explores the love language shared by black women, and how we twerk and work with unmatched professionalism. 

Episode 1

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#ProfessionalBlackGirl

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DURHAM, N.C. — Dr. Yaba Blay, renowned activist, cultural critic, and producer, launches Professional Black Girl, an original video series created to celebrate everyday Black womanhood, and to smash racist and “respectable” expectations of how they should “behave.”

Seventeen Black women and girls ranging in age from 2- to 52-years-old were interviewed for the series. Each episode features a candid discussion with personalities such as Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Rapsody; Joan Morgan, author of the Hip-Hop feminist classic When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost; and 13-year-old world traveler Nahimana Machen, sharing what it means to be a “Professional Black Girl.”

“‘Professional Black Girl’ looks like Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Emmys jumping up to hug Viola Davis. It looks like Mary J. Blige and Taraji and Kerry Washington in that Apple commercial. It looks like me rolling up to a room full of people in Berlin to speak with my bamboo earrings on,” explains Tarana Burke, a non-profit consultant and fashion blogger featured in the series.

Limited edition Professional Black Girl merchandise, created in partnership with Philadelphia Printworks, is available now onphiladelphiaprintworks.com. The first full episode, featuring Dr. Blay, will air September 9, 2016, with an episode airing each Friday onYouTube and yabablay.com until December 23, 2016.

The terminology that is often used to describe and define Black girls—such as bad, grown, fast, ghetto, and ratchet—are non-affirming and are words that are intended to kill the joy and magic within all Black girls,” says Dr. Blay. “We are professional code-switchers, hair-flippers, hip-shakers, and go-getters. We hold Ph.Ds and listen to trap music; we twerk and we work. We hold it down while lifting each other up, and we don’t have to justify or explain our reason for being. This is us.”

Follow #ProfessionalBlackGirl across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to celebrate and affirm the everyday excellence of Black women and girls.

For more information, or to interview Dr. Yaba Blay, please contact Shakirah Gittens at 718-687-6231 or by email at info@DynamicNLyfe.com.

September 9, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . #ProfessionalBlackGirl, African Americans, beauty, communication, persuasion, politics, teaching, professional writing, composition, cute, cuteness, design, digital literacy, ethos, fashion, feminism, feminity, gender, hair, media, play, politics, professionalism, race, rhetorics, sexual politics, style, technology, video, visual literacy, YouTube. Leave a comment.

Cute Coping: Invention & Writers’ Lifehacks

My “transoffice” is what I call all the little tricks I’ve adopted to keep my mobile devices on the ready for whatever. Whether biking downtown to the coffee shop or heading to the beach with the kids, the proliferation of proprietary cords and adapters for my laptop, smartphone, and tablet are mainstays of my workplace habitus — for good or bad. This work/play approach seems unavoidable and developing lifehacks designed to keep gadgets safe and organized is indispensable.

It’s hard out here for a yuccie trying to keep up with these never ending workloads. The idea of “presence bleed” is no joke in this information economy.

Yet another iteration of cuteness, creative professionals find themselves in constant pursuit of cute objects they can deploy to this end. The cute aesthetic works as a strategy for managing this contemporary moment of economic and social instability. It’s a shared reality that we cannot seem to avoid. And so I cope… by not only writing about it but also performing it on a daily basis, either consciously or unconsciously (even now — at this very moment while tapping out this post on my shiny new iPhone Plus :~)

At any rate, I thought I’d share this minor invention I came up with in the hopes that it might help some of you organize your hectic lives while trying to keep it cute.

DIY SafeMag cord protector

DIY SafeMag cord protector

Snip small holes into the bottom of an ordinary cancozy... these

Snip small holes into the bottom of an ordinary can cozy… these things are always laying around my house!

See? It's super easy!

See? It’s super easy!

IMPORTANT: Avoid overheating power adapter and always remove before plugging in!

IMPORTANT: Avoid overheating power adapter and always remove protector before plugging in!

June 16, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . computers, cuteness, Invention. Leave a comment.

Cuteness & Blackness: Video Podcast

Earlier this month, Fayetteville State University’s internet radio station, Bronco iRadio, asked me to come in and talk about cuteness and blackness to help kick off Black History Month. Needless to say, this is my favorite subject and I had plenty to say (even during commercial breaks).

Since it was a live broadcast, a few folks (mostly family, friends, and students) asked if they could listen to the show on their own time, so I thought I’d do one better and post this video of our uncut, on-air conversation. Because we spent so much time discussing rhetoric and its connections to professional writing, we ran out of time before I could draw more connections to civil rights and anti-black racism. So I’ll be sure to post another video podcast dealing more directly with cuteness’ relationship to mass incarceration and racial profiling in the near future.

Leave your comments and share your thoughts.

February 25, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , . #BlackLivesMatter, age, Civil Rights Movement, communication, cute, design, digital literacy, politics, rhetorics, social media, visual literacy, writing. 2 comments.

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