“Recipe for Change” is Dropping Gems and Amplifying Black Women
Do you enjoy meaningful conversations amongst incredible folk? Love to hear the experiences of different communities of all ages, careers, and backgrounds? And have a quirk for seeing people eat delicious food? Well look no further, Recipe For Change’s newest episode “Amplifying Black Women” is highlighting some of entertainment’s and the internet’s favorite Black women and uplifting the culture.
On May 19, 2022, Recipe for Change, an online YouTube series focused on marginalized communities, released an episode focused on amplifying the voices and experiences of Black Women. In three different round table dinner discussions, one hosted by Mary J. Blige and others by America’s mom Tabitha Brown and the icy girl herself Saweetie, women from Lynn Whitefield and Kelly Rowland, to Jackie Aina and Angelica Ross share everything from their joys of being a Black woman to the societal stigmas they face.
“Pressure. There is such an enormous amount of pressure for us to be strong that we don’t get the luxury of being weak, of being fragile, of being vulnerable,” shared Keisha Lance Bottoms, political commentator and 60th Mayor of Atlanta, when asked about the stigma of the “strong Black woman.” Continuing on, makeup guru and mogul Jackie Aina shared she dismisses the notion altogether. “Don’t call me strong. Don’t call me none of that. Why don’t you call me pretty or say my makeup looks great? Why don’t you call me fulfilled or aspirational or inspirational? Don’t call me a strong Black woman, it just sounds so stereotypical.” For many young Black women, it is not only the pressure and the stereotyping of Black women that happens when called a strong Black woman, but also the dismissal of the very real feelings, struggles, and emotions that Black women have. “I hate it because you know what, it’s also dismissive. It makes it seem as if I don’t need you, I don’t need anything, I got it and yeah maybe but allow me to be weak, allow me to be helped. Allow me to have the need to have somebody have my back.”
Beyond the stigmas of being a Black woman, the ladies also touch on topics such as colorism and the never-ending need for Black people to present in a way that is authentic to them for societal safety and approval, the act of codeswitching. “I’m from the south so growing up you were either light skin or dark skin, there was no in-between. My mama and my sister, were high yella (a fair skin tone) as they call it, redbone. When I got into Hollywood and entertainment I went to the workshop where you meet the casting director and review scenes and they said ‘for your complexion, because you’re [of a] darker complexion you need to straighten your hair… and I thought ‘oh, darker complexion needs straight hair to be on television,’” shared Tabitha Brown.
“For me navigating an all-white corporate environment in fashion media and being often the only one that looks like me, especially in a leadership role. Especially as a young person on top of it, and being a woman; the trifecta of isms stacked against you, in a way I felt like my survival tactic at first was to learn the language and speak it well. And then I got into a position of power and I recognized…my why. [It] Reminded me if I continue to leave parts of myself at home, I am doing a disservice to the people I’m here to represent,” shared Elaine Welteroth, award-winning journalist and author.
From the topics to the experiences, the Black women of “Recipe for Change” have not only dropped gems on what the experience of being a Black woman is, but also have opened up doors for the visibility of Black women today. Having women of different faiths, different cultural backgrounds and different goals in life has allowed the world to see not only the vast array that is Black womanhood but also that the experiences and issues they face are not monolithic. That every Black woman needs to be seen as not only a part of a collective with specific historical issues but also an individual with specific needs.
To be a Black woman is to experience a very specific form of oppression but also a joy like no other. The women of the show express not only their hardships but also the uniqueness of being a Black woman and the inspiration provided by Black mothers. “I love being a Black woman. Representing Black women and I don’t mean representing from a position, just who we are, and what we are, and our layers; I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” said Keisha Lance Bottoms. “My mother is everything to me, and I miss her right now [because] my mom is at home battling stage four lung cancer and her love is wrapped all over me. It’s in me, it’s on me and I try to show love because of what was shown to me and what was taught to me. My mom is love and it drips all over me, and I hope to put that on everyone I feed through my food,” said Danielle Saunders, chef and founder of Ready to Dyne.
It is so important for younger generations of Black women to know that their voices are being heard and their stories are being told, and “Recipe for Change” is contributing to just that. With the show being easily accessible via YouTube and possessing a great message behind it, folks from all communities and demographics should be watching. The show not only highlights marginalized groups, such as Black women in this episode, but also creates space for truthful and transparent discussions to be had in order to create real-world change. “Recipe for Change,” in all the episodes they put forth, strives to create room to foster authentic conversations about the experiences of those who we least here from, like Asian Americans or religious groups like people of the Jewish faith. All in all, “Recipe for Change” serves as not only something to fill one’s spare time but a learning tool to understand the experience and hardships of others. It’s one show whose new episode I’ll be awaiting, and one I hope you will too.