Visibly Slaying in Our Lanes
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be visible as a black woman. Though this was initially in relation to my Masters studies in public relations, I began to think about how it applied to all areas of our lives in society. Consequently, the questions that followed these thoughts revolved around the measures of visibility and who indeed created this visibility.
In no time, I came to the conclusion that, it is the very people who want to be visible who have to make themselves visible, and my goodness, Black British women have been at work! Today unlike, 5 years ago where it challenging to find the black female movers and shakers in Britain at all levels, we have platforms like Black Ballad, Melan Mag, gal-dem and the much-anticipated book ‘Slay in Your Lane’ which are all contributing to the exposure of our stories and playing an important role in presenting ourselves to each other.
Having had the pleasure to read the sample copy of Slay in Your Lane, written by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, I am able to concur with Elizabeth’s thought that ‘Slay in Your Lane’ is the personal development course that many of us are going to realise we needed from the foreword alone, written by Dr Karen Blackett OBE. In addition to having collected the stories of phenomenal Black British women, who some you’ll know and whose stories you’ll be delighted to read — the book provides accounts of the challenging experiences of black women within the world of work, dating, representation and more.
In 2013, I launched AFRONOIRE because I felt a need to see myself represented in different stories and interests, as well as be exposed to the possibility of other worlds in which black women are a part of. So the importance of visibility has always been simple to me. We need to see it, so that we know that we can be it. Because of the misrepresentation of black women, it is crucial that we are all presented with different narratives of who we are so that young black girls do not grow up to be limited in their dreams and in their aspirations and so that we all begin to deconstructs, address and heal from the demeaning and derogatory abuse we have consciously or unconsciously internalised. It’s important to be visible so that we can just be, which without a doubt will require us to challenge and disrupt toxic prejudices.
Not only am I excited by the Elizabeth and Yomi’s work, but I am also inspired. Having faced certain challenges in regards to my work with AFRONOIRE, reading this book has reaffirmed to me that I should continue to participate in telling our stories. It also makes me appreciate further the women who have been slaying in their respective fields and positively disrupting their industries. It makes me applaud even louder, the women who have created spaces that enable us to come together, empower us to take control of own our narratives and tell our own stories.
Get your copy!
Described as the ‘inspirational guide to life for a generation of black British women inspired to make lemonade out of lemons, and find success in every area of their lives’ Slay in Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené,will be published on June 5th is available to pre-order today. Engage in the Slay in Your Lane conversation on Twitter and Instagram.