Figuring out what's important
Building a village from scratch takes a lot of inner work. Home usually has a flow or a rhythm that aligns with your inner pulse. What does your pulse feel like? What makes your heart skip? Those will be the moments when you can identify your values and build a value system.
One of my greatest values is in making social change and addressing inequity. In my article, “Artists Changing the Course of the River
,” I talk about how I believe my art practice cannot exist in a vacuum. I cannot fully express my full self on stage without challenging inequity and the lack of diversity that exists in my field.
Furthermore, what is a challenge for one Black soprano, woman, mother, and wife will almost always be a challenge for the next. I am stronger when I acknowledge my connection to all in the struggle and look for strength in the village.
Also, as a Black woman and mother, it is imperative that my children have a true sense of pride in being Black, knowing Black history, and maintaining a healthy sense of self. I must make that extra effort to drive my kids to events where they will see positive images of themselves, and where they can play with other Black children. I design my daily schedule around what I can do to nurture Black love and Black joy in my home and parenting.
Starting with gratitude