Preparation

Tomorrow I will be speaking at Spelman College as part of a panel of artists, curators and scholars to discuss the Misrepresentation of Black Women in Performance.  I have been scouring my memory, bookshelves and the Internet for inspiration, quotes and plain knowledge.  I thought I would share some things I found here:

Between the Lines Conversation between Authors, Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
http://new.livestream.com/schomburgcenter/events/2831224/videos/45613924

Dancing While Black Story Circles
http://new.livestream.com/accounts/7326672/events/2831224

Dancing While Black In Our Own Words

Harvard Students Campaign #itooamharvard
http://itooamharvard.tumblr.com/

Feminism is for Everybody; bell hooks
http://excoradfeminisms.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/bell_hooks-feminism_is_for_everybody.pdf

Black Female Voices: Who is listening? A conversation with bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry
http://new.livestream.com/TheNewSchool/blackfemalevoices/videos/34324981

Black Hair
http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/black-hair-women-race-antonia-ophia-michaela-angela-davis-exhibit-culture/51acfd4efe34440d08000507

You are Lupita
http://blackgirllonghair.com/2014/03/you-are-lupita/

The Fetishization of Lupita Nyogo
http://www.themotleynews.com/2014/03/the-fetishization-of-lupita-nyongo.html

Wish me luck!

xo

 

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Be Your Best Where You Are

Hello from North Carolina. For real.   Shannan

I’m here in North Carolina trying on a new life. It’s been a pretty incredible journey so far. Lots of emotional changes: from excited and passionate to nervous and questioning to confident and comfortable.

Going through weeks of what felt like a monk’s dedication to study–I literally had to take one day at a time and unpack every single moment for what it was worth–I realized something. Or more so, a question arose:

What if life is more about HOW we do things than WHAT we do?

I do have to admit that this question came up because I found myself in a place that looked completely different than where I thought I would be at this moment, but I think it’s a valid question. I think we take so much effort and time searching for things–looking for a place, a person, a job, etc that is different/better/more important than what we have–that I think we sometimes miss the forest for the trees. I’ve never really understood that saying until just now. Think about it: we can get so caught up in the minute details of life and people that we miss out on the beauty that life is, and the joy and love that God wants us to have and to share.

Be your best right where you are.

Everyone knows my background and passion is in entertainment, specifically dance. I recently felt compelled to move myself to North Carolina to work for my sister at her real estate company. It’s a great career opportunity that honestly has nothing to do with anything I’ve ever done. I say I chose to move, but I cooperated with God. Things just weren’t working out monetarily the way that I wanted them to in New York, and I believe I made the right choice to cooperate with what will have a lasting positive effect on my career, family and personal life.

Even though I’ve never been here before, or thought I would ever be here, I choose to be my best right here. Being my best means that I am fully engaged with my work, with the surrounding community and with myself. I had to look at what I had in my hand, and then choose to work it. I haven’t stopped dreaming or given up, but I am taking care of myself and taking actual, successful actions that become steps to where I really want to go. I feel like I am building now instead of sort of dream-coasting.

Where are you in life right now?

Since my move, I have committed myself to being more present in each moment. I used to think that each moment was a time to learn something new or to adjust, but I am more interested now in taking in each moment and experiencing the ever-present beauty, uniqueness and potential awesomeness. I believe that in the past I have missed out on some pretty incredible moments trying to make them perfect, or wanting to rush to the end (college years anyone?).

Where are you in life right now? Can you slow down and actually experience what’s happening? How can you be more present and offer your best even if you are in a place that you never imagined you’d be?
Love you! I really do-ooo!!!
-Shannan

Practical Resource Corner:

Inspirational Thoughts:

“Quit worrying about how everything is going to turn out. Live one day at a time; better yet, make the most of this moment. It’s good to have a big – picture outlook, to set goals, to establish budgets and make plans, but if you’re always living in the future, you’re never really enjoying the present in the way God wants you to.”
― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

“It’s vital that you accept yourself and learn to be happy with who God made you to be. If you want to truly enjoy your life, you must be at peace with yourself.”
― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

A Pep Talk from Kid President

We all need a little encouragement every now and then. Kid President, knowing this, has put together a video you can play each morning as you wake up or to share with your friend who needs a kick in the right direction. Take a moment and spread some encouragement. “It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.”