I recently met a young lady at a local event that reminded me of me at 27 years old. Go getter, naturally beautiful, full of life, smart as a whip with three very lucrative hustles that geared to the uplifting of her people. While speaking with her I could see the passion she possesses for the life she is building, doing it her own way in her own time.
During our conversation I shared with her my experience working some of the same channels a decade ago, explaining the importance of passing the torch to the generation after her so the positive energy that circulates in our city can continue. We laughed at some of the same antics that are still occurring and marveled at the amount of growth the community has experienced since I first started in the early 2000’s. We exchanged information and promised to keep in touch.
Today, I ran into this Queen once again. Her light still shining bright as ever, she greeted me with a genuine embrace, smile and excitement that she did the first time we met. Mentioning that she had been thinking about me and wanted to ask some questions about real estate, event coordinating, and how to leverage her current skill set into some next level shit. I immediately went into gatekeeper mode and began spilling information her way that would greatly benefit her ultimate vision. I offered connections, websites, blogs, YouTube videos, educational outlets and most importantly my genuine support in seeing her win! I let her know how much I appreciated her carrying the torch for young black women in this city looking to sharpen their proverbial teeth before following their hearts to another city, state or even country with the lessons learned in her home town. We ended our time with the promise to further build at a later date and the promise to reach out if she needs anything else, whether it be a resource, connection or simply to vent, because this life will have you needing to get some shit off your chest. The entire interaction made me feel so good inside my heart.
I share this with you all because I remember first starting out seeking the advice and guidance of my female predecessors. Naively thinking that because we shared a desire to create opportunity, melanin in a varying hues and a vagina that these women would treat me with the same care that I treated the young lady mentioned above. Oh, how wrong was I. I recall being shamed, sabotaged, lied on, talked about, laughed at, boldly being told that the wish is to see me and my vision fail, black listed and generally shit on by three very prominent black women that are still in a position to this day to uplift those coming behind them. Are they doing so?. Who knows…what I do know is that instead of these experiences jading me to the point of being threatened by the Queen who reminds me so much of me a few years back, I have chosen to pour into any young woman looking to be guided, increased, supported and lifted up. With that choice, my own blessings have flowed in abundance. I am honored and humbled to be a gatekeeper for this next generation and to those ladies who shall remain nameless that chose to tear me down rather than lift me up may God keep you despite you passing on the opportunity to keep those that walk in God’s light!