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.
Today, we speak with budding entrepreneur, Teffani Taylor. A Los Angeles native, Teffani shares her thoughts and reflections on the impact of black representation in the media, the bittersweetness of the term “black history”, and the type of legacy she hopes to leave behind with the launch of Official Bonafide Boutique, an online clothing store that pairs affordable fashion with helping and supporting young women in foster care.
Who are some of the black history makers who have most inspired you and why?
Growing up, to see a woman on tv that looked like me or my grandparents was magical. Black history is so vast and can be seen on a daily in the making.
Legends like Eartha Kitt, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Diahann Carroll, and Diana Ross live in my memories. These ladies were and are absolutely phenomenal. The bravery they showcased when taking center stage at a time when doing so could cost them their lives was and is wildly inspiring. Especially because I get to see the career trail they blazed for me and others with the click of a button by simply going on the internet. These icons are a reminder to be humble with what I have and to use it wisely.
What does Black History Month mean to you? And what are some of the ways that you celebrate black history?
The term “Black History” is bitter-sweet because we have to call it “Black” history as if these monumental moments haven’t helped the globe. It’s a constant reminder that to be a pioneer, intellectual, inventor, or artist, we are often identified by our race first.
Also, Black History Month is too short and gives people the impression that black people are only to be celebrated once in a while.
I celebrate the history of my people by choosing a category that I identify with and exploring it more. For example, I love to travel and recently came across “The Green Book”. While this book is outdated now, it was paperback gold when it was published. To pay my respects and to pave some of the road for future generations, I document my travel experiences knowing that one day someone will want to know my perspective of traveling as an African-American woman.
I also love to support black-owned businesses. Right now, I’m focused on finding and buying hygiene products from black-owned companies. By picking one black-owned business to support each month, I feel more connected to my community.
As a young, black woman and entrepreneur, what type of legacy do you hope to leave for future generations?
As a business owner, my online store, Official Bonafide Boutique, was created for the sophisticated woman, to meet her style needs and keep her glamourous at all times.
The legacy I leave with each customer is simple – You are worthy. Take action, and don’t stop until you get results. Simple is not to be confused with easy. I believe once you know how worthy you are, carrying yourself with a vibrantly confident standard forces others to rise or fade away from your shine. Taking action can mean identifying your goals and breaking down or removing yourself from a toxic environment. Keep in mind that life is a marathon not a sprint and results are to be celebrated every step of the way. Compare yourself to your former self only and learn to appreciate all of life’s lessons.