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Unapologetic. Ours. A publication from Medium for Black women.

Ethel’s Club Founder Naj Austin delivers critical tips and reminders

Last year, after just four months of opening Ethel’s Club, a social group and safe space invented for people of color, founder Naj Austin had to make a hard pivot from IRL to virtual fellowship amid a global pandemic. A heavy undertaking given the circumstances and uncertainty of the world. But Austin was game for the unforeseen challenges and refocused to build a path forward that is all about “creating a digital space that speaks to people in a way where they gravitate toward it.”

In Active Voice, writer Brianna Holt’s new interview series for GEN, where Holt catches up…

Were we all sold a bill of goods when it comes to ‘working hard’?

Photo: Brandy Kennedy on Unsplash

I’ve long thought about the intersection of work and spirituality. Every Sunday at church, in addition to gospel music, we would solemnly sing all four verses of a hymn. Usually those hymns were about work. This one in particular stems from a Bible verse. The hymn’s name is “Work, for the Night Is Coming.”

“Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor—
Rest comes sure and soon.
Give every flying minute
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man works no more.

I sang joyfully. Work! Work…

A new publication from Medium has answers!

Please help us welcome the newest Medium publication, Index. It’s an informative hub for the lived work experience, a place to glean lessons from candid moments of triumph or failure. There are also calls to action for change and yes, cathartic humor.

As our work life evolves and our desire to seek both success and serenity hangs in the balance, we feel this new launch is perfectly timed. You can see/read for yourself here. Enjoy!

Evelyn from the Internets speaks about her viral video

Photo courtesy of Evelyn Ngugi

It’s Monday morning, you wake up, brush your teeth, have your coffee, maybe even get a good workout in! You’re ready to start your day! You pick up your phone for a quick social media scroll and that’s when you see it:

The hashtag. The protests. The video. Another Black man, Black woman, Black child. Murdered by the police.

Suddenly, the day feels like trash and you just want to crawl back into bed. But what excuse can you give to your boss? …

I’m Learning

If it’s not about me and my peace of mind, it can wait

Black woman holding a cup in her hands with eyes closed, enjoying a calm moment at home.
Black woman holding a cup in her hands with eyes closed, enjoying a calm moment at home.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

My morning routine is the same almost every day. I typically wake every morning between 6 and 7 a.m. I don’t use an alarm clock, preferring to let myself rise naturally with the sun. I stretch. Sit up. Take a sip of water. Say a little prayer of gratitude. Get out of bed and open the curtains to let the sunshine in.

And then… I panic. The countdown has begun.

Starting from the moment I open my eyes, I have T-minus 2.5 hours before I need to start work. That’s 2.5 hours to become fully awake, do some yoga, walk…

Black woman relaxing at home on her sofa.
Black woman relaxing at home on her sofa.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Many of us are either caught up in multitasking a day’s worth of work (for both for the job and home) or frozen on our couches, trying to make sense of the stunning events of the last year. Our bodies are fatigued; our minds are fogged. And while we may already have an intimate (and unfortunate) relationship with exhaustion due to oppressive societal demands, the indefatigable enervation that we are experiencing is on a whole new level.

We need rest. But we’re always telling ourselves, even subconsciously, that we don’t have the time for it.

We must make time.

If…

Talking smack at work is nothing new, but here’s how to handle it

Photo: FG Trade/Getty Images

Have you ever walked away from an interaction with a co-worker or read an email from a supervisor that did not sit well with you but was not overtly offensive? Maybe you shrugged it off and told yourself you were overly sensitive, and perhaps you were. But the odds are that your instincts were on point. Historically, Black women have endured the brunt of both racial and gender-based discrimination, and the workspace is no different.

Although Black women and Black trans women have made tremendous strides in the workforce, we still are overrepresented among minimum-wage-earning workers, are hired and promoted…

The rampant instability of our nation has caused some to face some cold, hard truths about their happiness

Photo: Grace Cary/Getty Images

Last year, roughly five months into the pandemic, I considered quitting my job. To be frank, I just wasn’t happy there but I was deeply conflicted. I felt a profound sense of guilt. How could I be contemplating quitting my decent-paying, full-time job when millions were struggling, losing their jobs as the government allowed them to further descend into poverty and turmoil?

But the thing is, realizing that I wasn’t happy with my job is a “squeezing-the-toothpaste-out-of-tube” situation. I couldn’t go back. …

Excelling in the job isn’t enough. Our bosses expect us to be perky and socialize after hours to be a ‘team player.’ Can we just live?

Photo: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

If anyone knows what it feels like to be on the receiving end of gaslighting, it is Black women. Oftentimes our complaints are dismissed as being unreasonable and our experiences are treated as fiction. But on Twitter, where Black women are free to vent and express themselves and can easily connect with one another, what are considered niche stories by some are validated as common realities among our collective.

On January 13, I tweeted about being penalized for not engaging in non-work related conversations at a past media job. Inspired by a post stating that “Black women are not allowed…

In the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the protests that followed, many companies, businesses, and organizations were reflecting on how they could do a better job of promoting equality and ending systemic bias in their workplace. For help, they turned to Akilah Cadet, an Oakland-based community leader and activist who, through her company, Change Cadet, advises companies and CEOs on navigating and implementing social justice.

“I dismantle white supremacy. I do this for Fortune 500 companies, global brands, foundations, and nonprofits,” Cadet said in an interview with The Bold Italic. “I also educate the…

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