As we come to the end of this year, and I reflect on the journey that #IssaMovement has made I cannot help but be proud of the community that we all are creating together.
#IssaMovement was created for the main purpose of changing mindsets, creating a greater sense of community amongst black people and empowering more black people to provoke change for future generations. In this post I would like to touch on something that I believe #IssaMovement is dispelling within the black community and really the title simply embodies the very message of this post; that three black women that are friends can actually come together and work for the sole purpose of their community.
Contrary to popular stereotypes which are constantly depicted on various media platforms which pitch black women against each other to fight and bicker for the limelight – #IssaMovement helps to shows the progress that can be achieved when we come together.
The Hollywood actress Gabrielle Union has spoken out on the mean girl attitude she used to carry out in the past against other women because she wanted to stay on “top”. This recalled the old African adage that says, “if there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do no harm”. Too many times I have heard ‘you don’t mix business with friends or family’. Truth be told this concept appears to be applied more within the black community than any other race, and is holding us back. Take the Jewish, Asian, or White community, business is usually contained within families and the community.
It confuses me that we are taught to work better with strangers than those who are in our intimate circle, that therefore know us best and can actually have a better understanding of our vison. The older I get the more I realise that, if I cannot have honest discussions with my friends about money and other adulting topics that may be difficult to have, then I may need to consider and re-evaluate where in the circle I consider this friend. I am not suggesting that you go start working with all your friends. However, do not overlook this prospect either. For this to work, mutual respect has to be given and honest, real honest opinions have to be served to the table.
The African adage came to mind as I wrote this post as often times, little things which in the grand scheme of things do not seriously matter have kept us divided (for example, fearing that there is an enemy within) and so the actual enemy which is outside of our circle continues to sail along effortlessly whilst we stay distracted due to suspicions of those around us.
Again, I will use myself, Paula and Lola as an example, our different nationalities could have been highlighted as an issue (I am Ghanian whereas Paula and Lola are Nigerian). Thankfully none of us think in that way as this could have prevented the rise of #IssaMovement.
Morever, something that has been concurrently brought up in all of our debates is how we as black people sometimes avoid coming together in a place of work to avoid accusations that we are excluding others by ‘sticking together’. This honestly is silly; can we just live!? If you want to speak to someone black at work, do so and feel no way about it. Do our non-black colleagues shrink themselves and avoid speaking to their non-black counterparts? I think we all know the answer to that, so why should we?
To all the fellow Queens and Kings let’s continue to encourage and uplift each other, work together, build together – I believe that’s how our community will continue to go from strength to strength.