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Reflections: On Being Selected to Essence’s 2019 Woke 100 List

October 29, 2019

#RedNanaDrops
So who do you write for? Who do you protest for? Who do you struggle for? Who gets you up in the morning? Whose voice do you have in your head? Who is the wind beneath your wings and the hand that pushes you forward? Who do you look for when you want to hear the words well done?
~For me, it was my Nana. I loved her so much. She encouraged me. She admonished me. She pushed me. She laughed at and with me. She told me my truth. She sang the songs of my soul. She knew who I wanted to be long before I could articulate my being to myself. She made me acknowledge when I was wrong and celebrate when I was right. We used to read the Essence magazine while we were standing in line. Once in a while, we would buy a copy and I would put my picture between the pages and pretend that I was between the fold. I used to write out an interview, detailing all the wonderful things profiled in the article: that I was changing the world, I was a trendsetter, my voice spoke volumes, I was brave, I was unashamed, I was beautiful. She would always say that I was already all of those things, the world just needed to catch up and see me.
~Six years ago today, this week, my Nana died. She ran on home to see how the end is going to be. This is also the week that I made it to between the Essence fold. Oh how I wish she was here to see it so we could laugh about it, cry about it, and just be in the same space together. My heart is heavy because a piece of it is missing.

Essence link: https://www.essence.com/news/2019-woke-100/#474573

Baltimore Sun article: https://www.baltimoresun.com/features/bs-fe-whitehead-essence-20191028-6wfcfx4kybb47kkpvtqlhdraqm-story.html

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