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.
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.
Emanyea Lockett -- 9 year accused of sexually harrassing his teacher after he was overheard telling another student he thought his teacher was "cute."
There are loads of empirical studies on how quickly and inequitably many public school districts are willing to label black children as delinquent or pathologize them as sexually deviant. This is especially true when it comes to black boys. Here’s just one example that has recently made headlines. The following story is by Dedrick Russell:
GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) – Gaston County School district investigated an allegation of sexual harassment and declares the principal got it wrong.
It was reported a fourth grader at Brookside Elementary in Gastonia allegedly called his teacher “cute”, but the school principal reported the student used another word to describe the teacher. The principal thought that was inappropriate and said it was sexual harassment.
The principal suspended the student for two days. Parents say the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
“Any teacher that would take that seriously,” Brookside Elementary School grandparent Irene Irvin said. “I think she should have just shrugged it off and taken it as a compliment.”
The mother complained to the district about the suspension and that’s when the district launched an investigation. It found no sexual harassment happened. Now the district is regretting this happened.
“We will be sending an official letter of apology to the parents,” Gaston County Schools Spokesperson Bonnie Reidy said. “Also the suspension will not count against the child and the child will receive additional instructional assistance to make up for the time out of the classroom.”
The incident has prompted the principal to retire. Parents are saddened he is leaving under these conditions.
“I’ve always agreed with the decisions he’s made,” PTA Leader Mandy Ballentine said. Reporter asked “Even with this case? “I would say yes,” Ballentine answered. “It’s behind closed doors, don’t know the whole case, but I do know his integrity.”
No word when the principal’s retirement will go into effect.