Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Real Talk About Black Women
and Our Vaginas

Tracie Collins
For the entire month of November, I'm bringing you my Black Women & Sexual Empowerment Series. Follow on social media at #BlackWomenSexuality.  

We don't give our vaginas enough credit. In my younger days I went with the word "pu$$y" to describe a weak or pathetic person. What an insult to my vagina and our vaginas. Women push human beings out of their vaginas, sometimes more than one at a time. Blood streams out of our vaginas every month. Yet many of us still get up and go to work when our bodies are cramping and just want to rest though the period process. Vaginas are delicate. They have to be tended to, loved, aired out, cleaned, groomed, examined for health reasons and touched the way they want to be touched. Vaginas are not weak. They're amazing. 

Black vaginas don't get enough love either. Black women have been told since the days of European explorers invading Africa for slave labor, that our vaginas were odd, animal-like, inferior, an uncontrollable and oversexed part, a place to breed deviance, a place to abuse, a part that we don't own. Many of us have internalized this thinking and passed it down generations both consciously and subconsciously. Some of us look at our vagina as something unclean or a magnet for assault--something that shouldn't be talked about. We need to talk about vaginas, especially to our children. Black vaginas have a story. Black vaginas are amazing.  

Actress Renee Wilson 
 Tracie Collins wants Black women to talk about their vaginas. She opened that discussion through a production in Oakland called, “The V Monologues: A Black Woman’s Interpretation.” Tracie Collins was the show’s writer, director and producer. It was derived from Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking production “The Vagina Monologues.” Tracie has worked in theater most of her life and and produced a number of shows. This was her first time in the director’s chair. Since showing this production a few years ago, she has gone on to produce other shows. Her latest is a one-woman show, "Who Is Tracie Collins?"which tells her life story and includes personal issues surrounding sexuality, womanhood, motherhood, body image and discrimination.

I spoke with Tracie, a charming actress from The V Monologues named Renee Wilson; and the play’s narrator—retired San Francisco news anchor Dana King. I never thought that I'd be discussing vaginas with a journalist I admired as a teen! It was a fun woman-to-woman conversation.

We spoke about black women's sexuality and vaginas. All three of these conversations were so real and I loved every second of them.

Now let’s talk about vaginas! Listen here or below.

Veteran Journalist, Artist and Actress
Dana King