President’s Speech from 2019 Soiree

A good magician never tells the secrets to their tricks.

However, it’s common knowledge that all magic tricks are centered on the art of misdirection. The magician diverts the audience’s attention by doing multiple things at the same time. And when they are ready for you to focus in they say those magic words, “ta da.”

Black women have been pulling rabbits out of hats, sawing people in half then putting them back together without a medical degree, and guessing the card you picked since the dawning of time. We have been educating ourselves, our children, our men and our peers. We have been marching on Washington, sitting in Montgomery, and yelling “time’s up” before most people knew which clock to look at. Now, I am not inferring that we are some sacred coven. No, we are metaphorical magicians. We’re the most multifaceted individuals in the world. Our minds are too brilliant to only do one thing. So, watching us is like watching a magician. Our hands are constantly in motion and only when we say “ta da” are you allowed to appreciate the fullness of what you have experienced.  We are magic.

Our elder sister, Toni Morrison said, “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”All over the country, black women are picking up their pens and changing the narrative. Long gone are the days when we waited for the gatekeepers to let us in. Our pens are drawing blueprints and signing checks to have our own gates built. Our pens are crafting business plans that will shift systems, ideologies and communities.

According to statistics, black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in this country. However, we know the truth. We know that our grandmothers canned jam and sold it to all their neighbors. We know that our aunts used to braid at least thirty heads a week. We know that our sisters used to keep all of the girls on the block looking good with her fashion sense. We know that we have always been here. For many years we have been the backbone, heartbeat, and brainpower behind many businesses. Now, it is time for us to take our rightful place as the face. And we will do it our way; with our own swag.

We will do it unafraid.   We will do it together.

Tonight, we’ve gathered to honor our ancestors, celebrate our contemporaries, and launch our future. This is an exciting time for our organization. As we come together for our inaugural signature event, I can’t think of a better way to recognize the quintessential African American woman.

By celebrating each other, we increase our consciousness. We are able to realize that there is a band of local sisters that I can lean on, rely on, and uplift. Through advocacy and scholarship, we are able to prepare the next generation for the greatness that lies ahead and the greatness that is already within.

From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank each of you for being part of this momentous occasion. I’d like to thank each of you for lending your magic to this evening.

It is our time.


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