What a beautiful weekend!
This will be a recap of epic proportions, a summary of one evening chock full of elegance, tenacity, and #BlackGirlMagic.
A few times in life we encounter some incredible, inspiring people who just attract all sorts of greatness in their lives. We are humbled by their grace and humility. We are encouraged by their resilience. They help spark that desire in us to shoot for the moon and beyond. We are grateful for having them in our lives, for they nurture growth in us.
I am grateful to say I know several people who fit this bill—particularly, young industrious women of color who think critically, live abundantly, and engage the intellectual and social challenges of our times.
All hail the women of Agnes Scott College!
Yesterday shall go down in the history books, as The Dinner Table Doc came to Atlanta. The brainchild of journalist, director, documentarian Asha K. Boston (@Asha Kay B), The Dinner Table Documentary started as an quest to improve the representation of black women and girls in the media. As you flip through the gamut of “reality” television programming, you’ll notice a lot of petty and backbiting behavior, mean-spiritedness, and fights where one lady throws drinks in another’s face…and the battle is on!
WE are not often shown embracing each other in sister circles, or nurturing, empowering relationships with one another. WE are not often shown our own success stories.
As more platforms arise like Women of Color in Tech, Black Girls Rock, Hey Black Girl, My Black Matters, Redefining HER Movement, Creative Smart Girl, and so many others, The Dinner Table Doc aims to empower, uplift and inspire women of color, through various school workshops on media literacy, exclusive dinner events, and apparel line Can I Live?
I, for one, have been watching the ongoing development of The Dinner Table Doc since it was in seed form, as an inquiry for senior seminar back in 2013—and I’m certainly not the only one amazed at its ever expanding reach within 2 years! Love you, Asha!
Based in New York, most of us have seen clips from the dinners and workshops on Instagram, or purchased a Can I Live? crewneck or two, or generally sung the praises of this organization. But now, now was our chance to support full throttle, to come through in formation. And indeed, we did!
We acknowledged the legacy of the first brave Latina, Asian, and Black women to attend and to graduate from Agnes Scott. We saluted those who formed such advocacy groups as Students Against Racism, Students for Black Awareness (renamed Witkaze in 1982), Chimo, and Racism Free Zone (formed as late as 1993). This is in the yearbooks, y’all.
In a space where historically, women of color were isolated, mistreated, limited to socializing with custodians and cooks (the only other brown faces), young black women gathered to celebrate and uplift one another.
Now, some 20-40 years later, here we were flourishing: alumnae squealing their enthusiastic greetings and exchanging hugs, exclaiming about natural hairstyles and the sheer amount of fabulous style in that room. Current students filing their way in, taking pictures and decompressing. All of us making introductions, sharing our aspirations, our talents, and our wit.
[Did I mention how delicious the food was?! We had buttery yeast rolls, grilled chicken, pasta Pomodoro, spring salad with strawberries and pecans (my favorite), and broccoli with tomatoes. Bon appetite!]
We covered so much during the conversation segment—from assumptions others make about us and our abilities, to body language, to micro-agressions, to white privilege, to being alternative, to networking and meeting people from social media versus real life. I appreciated the space to pour into someone else younger than me, while gaining perspective from other successful women like Noreen “The Science Queen” Raines (ASC ’03), Maricia (@musingsofKrav) and Maura (@maurachanz).
We sang, danced, laughed, and shared. We made plans for coffees, teas, meetups and updates. We confirmed blogs, writings, and other creative works. We exchanged all good vibes. We let each other know, you are more powerful than you know, and you just gotta get out of your own way. #Support #Affirmation #WeGotYourBack
Major takeaways of The Dinner Table:
We had family roll through from other schools, including Savanna State, Georgia State, and Spelman, as well as some alumni from the T Howard Foundation.
Asha made a boatload of acknowledgements, which reminded me just why so many of us love and appreciate what she’s doing. She really lives this stuff; it’s genuine, not rhetoric. And everyone had all the love to give right back; you could feel it reverberate throughout Upper Evans.
I say mission accomplished. If you didn’t attend The Dinner Table: ATL, be sure not to miss the next one!
Original Post written by artist and creative, Mia Walker. See the original post, here.