“I’m enough now, yesterday, and forever.”--Joyce Washington
If you’ve ever been the first woman, the only Black, or person of color and advocated for more inclusion, have you wondered how you could open the door for others?
Well, Racial Justice and Community Advocate Joyce Washington has broken down barriers and made sure that though she was the first in her Fortune 100 company, she was not the last.
Embodying the principles of a Mother Tree, Joyce actively recruited, mentored, and protected women of all colors, Black men and others who were excluded by business as usual practices.
In this episode she breaks down her strategy for engaging power structures, her mindset regarding difference, and her practices for staying in the body.
Listen as Joyce shares her inspiring story which begins in rural segregated Tennessee where she and her sister “integrated” a southern white high school in the 1960s.
Joyce is one of those people who always leaves you feeling like you can do anything after you talk with her.
And she does it with LOVE.
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“I’m enough now, yesterday, and forever.”--Joyce Washington
Amanda Aminata Sol: [00:00:00] The reason why I've always wanted to interview her is because, uh, I have, I don't think I've ever left the conversation with Joyce and not felt stronger on the inside, uh, or, um, you know, connected, you know, to all of my spiritual and my ancestors and, um, and, you know, and connected to Joyce. So, I, I, so for me, sharing her with the world, um, is, is a beautiful, beautiful.
Opportunity. So welcome. I'm glad you're here today, Joyce, and I'm glad that everyone who comes live and who listens to the recording later is gonna get a chance to hear us talk about some good real life stuff.
Joyce: Absolutely. Thank you. I'm just, Thrilled to be here, and I am humbled by your, uh, most gracious words.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Oh, yeah. So, okay. So, Joyce Washington, um, is a, uh, [00:01:00] has had over 30 years of experience working at a Fortune 100 company where she was often the only, or the trailblazing first one as a woman of color or as a black person in a space and. So she's been in that position many times and she now resides in Tennessee, which some of you might recognize is a pretty red state.
And she resides in a rural part of the state, which she just described to me over at, described to me as flyover counties where , where all the people who, who compete for your vote kind of fly over her county because they assume it's a wrap over there. So, uh, but none. Sister Joyce Washington has managed to thrive where she plants herself in these often difficult environments.
And, um, and I think she has some wisdom to share with us today. So that's what we're gonna focus on. What's, how do you thrive when you're the first or you're the [00:02:00] only? Does that sound good? I think so. . Yeah. I mean, really. Right. You know, how many times have, have we been in that position where we wish we had a, an opportunity to talk to someone who.
Who could help us vent, but actually help us work it out. So Joyce, my first question to today is, um, what was your first like trailblazing, uh, experience where you were the first or were you were the only, When did you first have that experience in your life?
Joyce: Probably in 1962. Okay. And what? And my sister and I were part of the students that integrated the school in my county.
And so that was like, until then, I lived in a pretty protective black bubble. Yeah. Um, I went to a black school. I certainly went to a black church. You know, my [00:03:00] world was pretty much like me. Now I understood and, and interacted with white folks, but that was not my world. Right. My world. Like me. And so being part of the student population that integrated this middle school or junior high school back then, um, was really an eye opener and the struggles that I had there, and I would continue to have all until graduation, you know.
I refuse to be defined by or limited by anybody but Joyce. Mm. A friend of mine, uh, that I graduated with, um, a young white man, his mother told me the day I walked across the stage for graduation. She said that I have a look on my face, that I am outta. I am done . [00:04:00] Um, but I just would not allow myself to be defined by that situation, which was, you know, I, I'm sure I'm not the only black person who has been discouraged by a teacher, a white teacher.
Uh, I wanted to be an archeologist. I really was into that and my science teacher told me that I should consider something else. Well, I'm not an archeologist, um, but I did consider and pursue other things. Um, and by his grace, you know, I've managed to be reasonably successful at those things. Um, but I just.
I won't be put in a box and I won't be made to feel less than mm-hmm. by my environment. Mm-hmm. . And so I think that was my, that's my [00:05:00] earliest recollection. And from there, you know, I, I kept finding myself, uh, because. I graduated in 68, so you know, you can probably do your math and I'm a person of that generation, that era.
Yes. Um, and figure out about how old I am. Um, but I went from there. To graduation. Um, I'm a late bloomer and it took me forever to complete my bs. I completed my BS at 59. Congratulations. I got my MBA at 61, uh, and I got a second master. 70. Wow. So, um, I'm a lifelong learner and I've learned the one word or phrase for me about being the only, or the first is I've learned to [00:06:00] ask people, Do you really want me to tell you?
I feel okay.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Okay. I'm just gonna write it down. Ask people, do you really want me to tell you how I.
Joyce: Yeah, do. In fact, in my corporate life, uh, I have a claims background. A personal claims background, and, um, you know, I, I was hired as one of the first customer service people, and the company that I worked for did not really begin to hire black folks until 1969 in roles that were.
Um, blue collar jobs. Mm. So, uh, they started moving people into what would be termed white collar jobs in about 69. I came on board in 71 and it was a new position. Mm-hmm. . Um, there were several, uh, young black women that came into the office, but I [00:07:00] came in as a customer service person and I was outspoken.
How things were. And whenever management or supervisors would ask my opinion, I always wanted to know, Do you really want me to tell you? Mm. You know, don't, don't ask me if you aren't ready to hear the truth. Okay. Um, and within racial justice from the heart, we often talk about that, you know, uh, about asking people, Do you really wanna know?
Mm. You know how that might feel to me or how that may look or sound to others? Mm. Uh, because I'm not gonna give you any blood. Mm. And I'm not going to waste any time.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Ooh, Okay. Okay. Okay. And now I have to stop you there cuz we gotta, we gotta get some of these, um, real life tips from you. Okay. So you, you managed, you integrated your junior high school quote, integrated, right.
You and your sister [00:08:00] went to this junior high school. You're your, you have all white teachers. Mm-hmm. and, and despite discouragement, you said, I refuse to be limited by anybody but Joyce, I won't be put in a box. So, Joyce, what, what helped you to hold onto your self worth? Uh, what helped you to. , you know, not be put in a box.
What made you make that decision? Was there someone in your life who encouraged it? Was it just something you knew deep in your heart?
I think it was my parents. Mm. And what I just felt deep in my heart. I knew that there was something else out there that I didn't really know about or had not been exposed to.
Mm-hmm. , and I was willing to do the work to see it and to do it. Um, I got married. In, uh, [00:09:00] 1968, um, and ended up in ba, Germany from 60 69 to 71. And 1971 was when I went to work in corporate America. Mm-hmm. , Um, I. I'm a survivor and I wanted more than I had seen my parents struggle for. My father had like a fifth, sixth grade education.
Mm-hmm. , but worked for the railroad, owned his own business. Uh, my mom, uh, was a high school graduate and a beautician. Back in the day, you could have beauty shops in your home, and so my father built. A, a room, an add-on room to the house. And, um, my mom ran her own shop for years. Um, so I wanted, and they wanted me to [00:10:00] be better than them, and that's the attitude that I've had even with my own.
Kids and kids in my family. Mm-hmm. is you can be and do whatever you want to be and do. Mm. And you don't need to be defined by anybody or whatever situation. That is so beautiful. We all have made mistakes, we all got a history and not all of that history, um, would we want on a billboard. But that's not who you are.
Mm. But it is that experience that has brought you to this place mm-hmm. and prepared you for this moment. So your
parents. Um, of course we're growing up in Jim Crow and segregated south. Absolutely right. And, um, and the, and the way they dealt with it, one of the ways they dealt with it was, of course to create their own businesses.
So, mm-hmm. , your father had a job, but he had his own business and he [00:11:00] enabled your mom to have her own business and they, they encouraged you that you could do anything and don't let anybody stop you. Kind of like that kind of mindset.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Exactly. Okay. Exactly. Okay. So
let's fast forward then. So you graduated from high school, you lived in Germany for a while, and then you step into the doors of the Fortune 100 company, which has finally decided to hire black people.
Right? And these white collar positions, um, do you really want me to tell you how I feel? I wanna know. So when they said, if they said, Were they? What? Tell me a little bit about that. Like, were you giving them tips on how to improve the environment, how to recruit more black people? What were you
Amanda Aminata Sol: doing? All of that.
All I mean literally all of that, um, from process improvement. Mm-hmm. to we need to hire more black folks to, we need to consider how we give adoptive parents parental leave because my son is adopted and so at the point, We were going [00:12:00] through our adoption, there was no such thing as parental leave for adoptive parents.
Mm mm And so I feel as though I, I did all of that. I mean, whatever the issue was, Joyce had an opinion about. Joyce had an opinion about it on how we could make it better, you know, and make it better for everybody. Yeah, yeah. You know, from the customer experience to process. Mm-hmm. , you know, to increasing our diversity to training programs.
Oh yeah. Joyce always had an opinion. Don't ask me if you don't wanna know.
Okay. Okay. Now I just wanna interrupt here and say that. You know, she broke down the door. She was in that first generation, hired by this Fortune 100 company, and Joyce, I think by the time you completed your work there, you know, your, your service there, couple of three decades later, you told me you had there by like [00:13:00] 25%.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Within, um, within the claims department, I worked in a very specialized group as a catastrophe claims manager. Mm-hmm. . And when we started the team, there were 50 of us. Mm-hmm. . Um, by the time I left we were pushing 900 members of a dedicated catastrophe team. Wow. And my office, Worked to always hire the best people, but we made sure to focus on recruitment.
That and, and process for recruitment that would give us qualified. Minority applicants. Mm-hmm. . Um, and I, we worked to hire black folks into a industry that was pretty white and male. Mm-hmm. , and it was, [00:14:00] I would say it was conscious on our part. As a team, as an office, um, and we would hire people and help other offices.
There were four offices across the country that were virtual offices. Um, and so between just my office there, most of my leaders were minorities, either women. People of color. Um, it was a conscious effort. You have to be intentional when you are trying to improve diversity numbers. Mm-hmm. , right? It doesn't happen organically in.
In predominantly white spaces. It just doesn't happen. And it doesn't happen because those who are in power don't organically think that way. Right. So you have to be willing to. Be intentional [00:15:00] and have a plan, a strategy on how to make sure that you can increase the number of qualified applicants, and fortunately, the, the requirement for our entry level positions where you just needed to have a, a college degree.
Mm-hmm. , because we did our own training so people didn't have to come in. Skills. They just needed to be a college graduate, uh, and be willing to travel 90% of the year and not be afraid of heights. And, you know, there were some, some requirements, um, but we worked hard And I was as a team, as an a manager of an office of 120 people, I was very proud of.
The team and the work that we did. Okay. Um, and the focus that we had. Right.
So you were intentional. Let me just ask this question. Yeah. Cause so many people know, um, if you are not the leader, if you're not [00:16:00] the, if you're not the person who can say yay or nay, Uh, but you wanna persuade or educate the person who can say yay or nay that it's important to be intentional.
Is that what you did? Or were, did you come in as the leader? And so people just had to say yes because, you know, Joyce,
Amanda Aminata Sol: I think both of those things. I wasn't always a senior manager. Mm-hmm. in a position to make those decisions. Mm-hmm. and when I was moving through, The system. I would work to talk to those who did have the power to say yes or no.
Mm-hmm. to always present candidates that were strong. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, I would always. And, and we talk a lot about this in racial justice from the heart. Um, there's a way of approaching whiteness, which is a system, right, That you have to have a strategy and yelling, [00:17:00] and you can't roll
up and say, you know, y'all need to do X, Y,
Amanda Aminata Sol: and Z.
You have to have a, Yeah. You can't do that. You gotta have a strategy.
Okay, Well, tell us some, What's some strategy that we could. The, for
Amanda Aminata Sol: example, you always present a positive case. Mm-hmm. and most Fortune 500 or most companies have some diversity requirement or goal that they want to reach. Mm-hmm. . And so you kinda have to be aware of what that is.
Okay. And then you work towards moving that and achieving it. First you got to achieve, And if you know that you are not there, then you have to present without yelling, screaming, making people feel guilty. You just need to keep bringing the most qualified applicants in and to make sure you are recruiting in places that will give you the broad.
Who of candidates? [00:18:00] Mm-hmm. .
Mm-hmm. . Well, let's go back to the yellow screaming part . Um, one things I've noticed is that when, when black women speak powerfully or passionately, we can be perceived as yelling or screaming, and therefore we have this angry black woman stereotype. Mm-hmm. that so many black women feel like I can't be myself, because people are gonna think I'm an angry black woman.
Mm-hmm. . So I guess that's, I wanna know, kinda like, well, how do you recommend people. Navigate that stereotype. Um, you know, how did you do
Amanda Aminata Sol: it? Well, having been defined as an angry black woman on more than one occasion, um, I have learned to speak slower. Mm. Um, to moderate. The candor in my voice. Mm-hmm. , um, and still be angry
Okay. You know? Okay. And you can, it's about never losing control. Mm. [00:19:00] Because when you get emotional Mm. You do come off as being angry, but it's a way. To direct that energy of anger, to be passionate and direct and compassionate, and to deliver whatever it is your, your message is with honesty. Yes, because once you've done that, I, I'm not responsible for how you receive it.
Mm mm And you've been
successful. I mean, it's one thing to say, you know, speak, you shame the devil and burn it all down. Right? You've been, you've been able to, to speak your truth, make the case, and keep getting promoted. So, And even
Amanda Aminata Sol: within my community mm-hmm. , you know, I, I live in a, in a red county, in a red state.
Mm-hmm. , um, and I have some interesting conversations. [00:20:00] Mm-hmm. , and I've been called an angry black woman here. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, but I also have people to say to me, That they respect, you know, the, the positions that I put for mm-hmm. and, um, they're willing to engage in courageous conversations with
And is that because of your tone, because of compassion? Why do you think they're willing to engage with you?
Amanda Aminata Sol: Because of my empathy, my compass. because of the things I've learned from you and racial justice from the heart, you know? Uh, I think it's all of those things. Mm. Um, I, I have to speak my truth and I won't let other people dismiss my experience.
Mm-hmm. . And while it may make you uncomfortable, and I say this to people, I've been uncomfortable all my life, so I, I'm sorry if you are uncomfortable. [00:21:00] This is my truth. Mm-hmm. , and I'm just, you ask me and I'm sharing it. Mm-hmm. .
So is the, um, is the trick here to wait to be asked or to ask someone if they really wanna know or how?
I think it
Amanda Aminata Sol: depends on, on the situation. Okay. You know, um, if you are. Engaged already in a conversation. It may flow out as a natural byproduct of the conversation. Mm-hmm. , um, if you are presenting and then opening it up. For discussion, then again, it, it may not be organic, it's just part of the presentation and then you allow people to engage with you in a discussion around it.
Mm. But when living in where I live, you know, there are certain, um, trigger words that once those words are [00:22:00] out, they don't hear nothing else. Mm. It's like they don't hear nothing. Shut down. And so you can't engage in meaningful open conversation when people shut down. Very true. You know, you, you have to be able to have this open dialogue and to do that.
you have to, um, hold space for transformation, right? You have to learn to take care of yourself, to breathe and to stay in your body. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Because once you allow your emotions to take over you, you've already discounted your. Think of Nelson Mandela, all that he went through. We never saw anything that indicated he was out of his body emotionally.
So when you think of [00:23:00] Desmond Tutu, even Dr. King, you know, these are people and they had plenty anger and, and heartache and stuff to be mad. Right. Right. But it was how they then directed that and managed to stay in their bodies. Mm. There is something about being able to remain calm in the face of adversity.
Mm. It's like, it's like the devil wants you to come out of your body. Yes. Because then he's got it. He's one. But when you can stay in your body, focus on your heart center and still deliver your message and stay calm and smile because it's okay that we disagree. You know, I tell people all the time. I'm seeking understanding, not agreement.
Okay. That's [00:24:00] different. I'm seeking understanding, not agreement. So if, if that is your goal, and let's say in the course of your career where you were very successful at, you know, building diversity and you know, you, you were the only one, but you didn't stay the only one, you definitely opened doors for other.
I'm wondering how, um, how understanding got people to actually do what you wanted them to
Amanda Aminata Sol: do. , I think when you plant seeds with people, I believe in humankind. Mm. And I believe people will make the right decisions. It just takes them a long time sometimes. Mm. And I think when you present an idea, when you plant a seed, when you provide the.
On the path, I think people will
get there. Mm. Provide the light on the path. Okay, great. You know, so you have this, you said, I, I believe in humankind. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. [00:25:00] So I do That gives you a, that gives you a little bit of a long term view then where you can plant a seed and have some. Or provide the light and think that people could get there eventually.
Mm-hmm. as opposed to if they're not with me now, you know, they must be taken out or, you know, canceled or whatever the words are.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Well, by the same token, now, I also know that there are some people that ain't gonna never get there. Mm-hmm. And you have to be able to sort of discern. Mmm. Yes, but the majority of the people mm-hmm.
I believe will get there. But now I, I also know that there's some that, that what I, what I'm talking about, they ain't trying to hear now or ever. Right. And that's okay because it takes, you know, a spectrum of people to create community. Don't you disrespect me in your. And I won't disrespect you, but I [00:26:00] respect that that's how you feel and that's okay.
okay. Yeah. Wow. You know, Joyce, I feel like, uh, hearing you talk, I'm hearing a few things that could really help people. One is, except that there will be a spectrum. Mm-hmm. , there will be some folks who ain't trying to hear it, and you don't necessarily expect them to get anywhere. Right. But you do have.
A trust that the majority, many are going to travel. Mm-hmm. and there will be a spectrum. Mm-hmm. , we're not all going to actually agree. You know, and somehow even within the spectrum, uh, you, something good can happen, even if we're in a spectrum rather than in unity or unanimity.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Right. Well, even as black folks, we are not monolithic, right?
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So humankind is. Monolithic. Mm-hmm. . But I, I just believe in the humanity of people and that when, when [00:27:00] you reflect what you want to see, it's contagious. Okay. ,
that's another little gem. When you reflect what you wanna see, it's contagious. Tell me, give me an example of that,
Amanda Aminata Sol: that that approach to handling difficult, convers.
Of staying in your body and focusing on your breathing and being able to make eye contact with people and to show them compassion and empathy, even in my anger, because what you just said is stupid. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . I'm going to walk alongside you. Mm-hmm. , and then I'm going take another trail because I'm not going to give blood now.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, I, I have a book group and in the book group last night, actually we, I, I shared this, that. Self care, all of this, and I didn't [00:28:00] come to this until late in life. That self care is critical to my ability to be effective in any situation, but especially difficult situations. Yeah, and I have to, Love Joyce.
Respect Joyce. Take care of Joyce. In order for Joyce to be able to do any of those things for anybody else, and this work is about doing stuff for everybody else. And so when I love me, when I take care of me, when I. Learn to set my limits and my boundaries. Sometimes I have to step away from that work because as we all know, it can be exhausting, right?
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , it can be very exhausting, so sometimes you have to take
a break. Yes. Okay. So here are the, here's, So I'm, I'm coming to like, you know, [00:29:00] uh, make sure everybody's picking up what you laying down. So I heard you saying, you know, expect a spectrum. Mm-hmm. , go for understanding, not necessarily agreement in conversations, uh, I heard you say stay in your body, stay in your body, and your breath.
And then I heard you say that when you are something, it is contag. And then you said back to your body as an example. I said, Gimme an example. You said, Well, so it's almost by implication when you stay in your body and your breath, you could be making that so that other people will stay in their body when they're with you or working on something.
Is that what,
Amanda Aminata Sol: Because they're trying to figure out why is she so calm when I know she's. Angry. Mm. You know, because why are you shouting? In fact, I've been in conversations where it has become confront, confrontational, and I will say to the person, Why are you shouting? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , you know, I don't understand why you're yelling.
Mm-hmm. that really. Sort [00:30:00] of flips how people respond. Mm. Because they realize they're the only person that's yelling and screaming. Mm-hmm. , and you're still talking. Mm. So that's like being the light. Mm. You know, and, and refl, you know, being what you want to see. Mm-hmm. and people can then, You know, reflect and go, Wow, I guess I was yelling.
I'm gonna ask you something about self care since you said that that's, is there some kind of practice that you do on a daily basis or a regular basis? And if it is, tell us what it is and how often you do it.
Amanda Aminata Sol: I, um, hold space, which is a meditational practice that we do. Uh, I try and do it every day, but I always do it before important things, calls, meetings, um, and at night I have like a meditation time where I.
[00:31:00] Scripture. In fact, I'm reading, I'm on a journey to read the whole Bible, and so I, I do that at night. Mm. Um, so, you know, for me, my spiritual journey is important. , uh, to me, and I've practiced a lot of different types of spiritual, um, traditions, and I still practice several of them. You know, I sort of mix them all together.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , because that's, I find comfort in them, and I, they're not mutually exclusive for me. Mm. This
is very in, this is a theme. I'm picking up from you . We're not mutually exclusive. The whole thing about expecting a spectrum, right? Not, uh, what did you say? We're not monolithic even as black people.
We're not a monolithic, We're not a monolithic, Yeah. It seems like you have a high degree of, um, [00:32:00] acceptance of difference and, and an ability to net things together so that they come for. . Mm-hmm. ,
Amanda Aminata Sol: because I think, I think that's what the world is intended to be, right? It is intended to be filled with differences, different cultures, different religions, but what we've not been able to do is we've struggled to learn how to live together.
We don't, we don't play well in the sandbox together. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, and it takes practice and, and again, you have. You have to be and present what you want to see in life. And so I really do, I really do try to represent that and to be that. Mm. And it's hard sometimes, and it's exhausting most of the time.
Mm-hmm. . Um, but I won't give up. Mm-hmm. .
And, you know, you say it's exhausting, but you have this beautiful smile , [00:33:00] you know. Thank you. Um, and I, I, I wonder, do you ever have any moments where, You, uh, where you are down on Joyce, where you're like, Now Joyce, you just blew that one up. Or, you know, you met you, you screwed up.
You're not good, Joyce. I'm not saying, I'm just wondering, do you ever have a voice inside of you that's like I do. I have
Amanda Aminata Sol: to have conversations with myself. Okay. Um, because I don't always get it. and I realized that I'm an imperfect being, you know, um, trying to live a more perfect life. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And that's a struggle.
Mm-hmm. , I mean, I'm, I can't lie about that. That's a struggle. Mm-hmm. . Um, but when I step back, And I have these conversations with Joyce and with Spirit, you know, I can let it go because what's important is I did my best. I, I tried, I wasn't vicious, and [00:34:00] so I'm able to forgive myself. Mm-hmm. for that blunder that mistake.
You know, misspoken word or whatever. Mm-hmm. . Um, and that's, I think learning to forgive self is huge. It's right up there with self care . Right. In fact,
I'm on that train because if you can't forgive yourself, you just, your lobe just accumulates
Amanda Aminata Sol: Yes.
Heavy and heavier
Amanda Aminata Sol: year after year. And, and you have to be able to do that.
Amanda Aminata Sol: You. You were gonna
buy someone on how to forgive themselves, Joyce, is there a, a, a way that you could give somebody a suggestion for how they could do it?
Amanda Aminata Sol: I can share how I do it. Okay. Right. And, and maybe people can, um, modify it or take something from it. I simply go into prayer and meditation and know that I'm.
I'm enough. I'm enough [00:35:00] now, yesterday and forever and that, yeah, I probably could have done that better, but I did it as well as I could at the time, given what I had. Mm, I did. And then, I'm sorry, go ahead. I wanna
just repeat what you said out loud cause I think, Okay. You all here I did. What I could with what I had at the time, right?
Amanda Aminata Sol: Because when we know better, we do better. That goes back to my belief in humankind, right? , is that when people know better, when you realize that that stove is hot, and if you touch it, You go, it is gonna hurt. Mm-hmm. . And so when I know that now I will do better. Mm-hmm. . And
I just wanna say loud for anybody who's feeling this, and sometimes you know better and then you repeat yourself.
Absolutely. You're just like, just here again. You know, so I just wanna say if you find yourself in that situation, um, you can still forgive yourself for
Amanda Aminata Sol: me. [00:36:00] Okay. And I can own this. I have found myself in that situation more times than I got strands of hair in my head. Mm-hmm. , especially around relationships.
Yes. Romantic relat. Mm. And I am thankful that I have reached a place in my life where I realize that relationships are not really all that important. Mm. It's the relationship with Joyce that is the most important one. And, um, when I'm happy with Joyce, that's, that's pretty cool. And everything else will fall in place that needs to fall in place.
Whatever that is, you
know, you're really pointing to the relationship. between like, um, in terms of being effective when you're a trailblazer or when you're the only one, uh, you, what I hear you saying is having that relationship with yourself is still most important. You know, more important than your job [00:37:00] or wherever it is that you're serving.
This one has
Amanda Aminata Sol: to work. Mm-hmm. , and this is the only one you have control of. Because I can control any other relationship, right? I, I can control this one. And so I think it's important as women of color, um, to have good, solid, open, honest relationships with ourselves individually and to learn to forgive ourselves.
You know, pretty much we've been raised and socialized. To carry everybody and everything.
Okay. You can say that one
Amanda Aminata Sol: again. . We've been, you know, socialized and raised and acculturated and all of those things to carry and nurture everybody and everything at the sacrifice of ourselves. So it's, you know, I told a couple of women here that I, I work with, um, [00:38:00] that, and I told you Dr.
A, that in about 2016 Spirit gave to me that women were going to save the world. Okay?
I do remember you saying this.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Um, because women are wired to nurture. We're, we're better at compromising and we have less ego because we are intended. To nurture. I mean, that's what we do. That's how we were created.
Mm-hmm. . Um, and because of that, we tend to be less competitive and we can see the benefit of the whole mm-hmm. , Right? And to save this world and to save our people. That's what it's going to. Is being able to see the greater good and to be able to live and be a collective. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And I think women are much better at that.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And [00:39:00] that's, I have heard you say that. And um, and as you said earlier, That can get distorted into, I carry everybody and everything. Mm-hmm. . And, um, so the, the, the tendency to sacrifice ourselves is, um, pretty deep. And I think that runs deep for black women. Mm-hmm. , um, trying to protect everybody, our children, our men, our elder.
I mean, you know, always like there's so. Examples. Uh, that's
Amanda Aminata Sol: why self care is so critical
and, and that thing that I think that our grandmothers and our aunts and women, we didn't see them do that. So we don't really know how to We're we're, yeah. So we are the generation to show the future. generations, how to do both, how to be holistic and caring, and also how to build this relationship with ourselves as the first relationship that has to work.
Amanda Aminata Sol: We as, as black women [00:40:00] especially, we are late to the party of self care. Yeah. I think we are. Um,
and, and we're angry and I think that does about.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Yeah, with angry. We're angry about
that. People are tired. Yes. So they Cause we're tired. I'm my body. I have a little angry girl in my body right now who's tired. Yeah. You know? Yeah. So people might not be angry. I think we do have to do the self-care stuff. Take the time and be okay
Amanda Aminata Sol: with it. And be okay with it.
And be okay with it, Which could take a little bit of, uh, adjustment.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . It's a new way of living for us. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Yes.
Well, we're coming toward the end of our. I have one more question for you. This is a little bit lighter. Okay. We were talking about, um, dress and [00:41:00] makeup, you know, before you and I started recording the call.
Mm-hmm. So, um, I guess I just wonder, like for you, you know, how do you remind yourself that you're beautiful or how do you cultivate inside of yourself? Oh my God, you're just beautiful . Like, do you do anything to make. Feel that way or remind yourself you're that way.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Every morning when I wash my face and brush my teeth mm-hmm.
I say to myself, I see, you know, you look pretty good for 72. You know, I love that. Every morning, every morning, you know, I'm brushing my tea, I have this, um, this routine I do with my face. Um, and I'll look in the mirror and I go, you know, 72 don't look bad.
And I just wanna say out loud, that does not take a lot of time.
So if everybody's busy out here, you know when you brush your teeth, you could do that, right? Yeah, yeah.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Absolutely. [00:42:00] Because if I don't think, If I don't think I'm beautiful or that I look good, how is anybody else gonna think it? Or maybe you won't
believe people when they tell you, you look good.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Right?
Yeah. Right. And even that has taken some learning to. Compliments. Mm-hmm. . I had to learn to do that. That has not always been easy for me. Mm-hmm. ,
Well, I'm gonna tell you a compliment right now, .
Amanda Aminata Sol: Okay? You look
good at any age. Thank you. And the beauty from the inside is popping out, you know? Thank you. And your generosity.
You know, of sharing with other people is, um, you know, whether you're physically sharing something like drink or food with other people or just sharing your wisdom, you know, it's there. It's, and it's, so, it's, yeah. So I, I appreciate being one of the people that you share with.
Amanda Aminata Sol: Ah, thank you very much.