As Black History Month draws to a close, AmPopsy had the chance to sit down with a few dynamic women who are making waves in their respective industries to discuss their thoughts and reflections on celebrating the rich history of African-Americans this month and every month.
Below, we speak with our very own Editor-In-Chief, Palanda Brownlow, about the people and things that are fueling her hope and joy and providing the much-needed safe spaces to honor and appreciate blackness in a time where blackness is still very much considered a threat and a point of controversy.
What are some ways that you celebrate #BlackJoy?
First of all, can we talk about the importance of finding joy in these times? Between the pandemic and the fact that black people in this country are still dealing with police brutality, discrimination in the workplace, and micro and macro aggressions just for being black, it’s so key that we take joy whenever and wherever we can find it. And I’m thankful that finding that joy can be as simple as sharing moments of laughter with my besties, relaxing by the pool while reading a great book, or following one of the many black influencers on Instagram who do nothing but provide joyful images and videos of happy, black, thriving families.
What does Black History mean to you?
Black history is an integral part of American history. We have contributed so much to this country, often without any credit, and it’s important that we acknowledge and honor all of these incredible black men and women that have walked before us. People who had to live such marginalized lives but still somehow found a way to not just keep going but to contribute to society in such a way that we are still benefitting from their amazing achievements and difficult struggles years and years later. Knowing where we’ve come from is crucial and is a wonderful reminder that we’ve come a looooong way. And we owe to ourselves to celebrate that while still continuing the fight for racial equality and justice.
What are your go-to places and spaces to explore and celebrate your blackness?
Pre-pandemic or “ pre-panini” as some of the cool kids call it, I would have said the theatre. Live theatre has always been a great love of mine, and I’ve seen some incredible stories told on the stage that absolutely filled me up and brought me so much pride in my culture and community. These days, I look to a lot of podcasts and virtual experiences to fill that cup. Podcasts such as “Talk Wellness to Me”, the now defunct “Another Round”, Netflix’s “Strong Black Lead”, and Season Two of “Going Through It” with Tracy Clayton always allow me the space I need to laugh, cry, and learn with other black women who get it. I also love virtual spaces like Ethel’s Club which are all about self-care for black and brown men and women. These places acknowledge and honor the pain and difficulties of being black in America while also providing hope and encouragement of my ability to succeed and be well in spite of.