I really need someone to pinch me. Seriously….pinch me. Actually, if I am dreaming, I ain’t tryin’ to wake up.
That’s how I felt on Monday, February 27, 2017. That day could not have been any better. Oh, before I delve into that magical day, lets back track for a bit.
To recap – just in case you didn’t read the previous blog posts – (pssst…you really should read them!), in part 1, I wrote about being asked to interview a few trailblazing ladies at the #HerstoryinBlack photo shoot organized by #howshehustles founder Emily Mills, and in part 2, I blogged about being one of the women featured in the prestigious photo shoot.
In this last installment of #HerstoryinBlack: A Document Of 150 Phenomenal Black Women, I briefly speak about the impact of the digital photo series being aired on CBC news, and how honoured I felt attending the #herstoryinblack celebration.
The Week of February 20th, 2017
The week of February 20th was surreal. #HerstoryinBlack was released to the world, and some of the participants had their inspirational stories featured on CBC TV and radio.
On Monday February 20th, I made sure to be in front of the TV at exactly 6pm so that I could catch the #HerstoryinBlack footage. My eyes were locked onto the TV screen as I watched Emily speak with newsman Dwight Drummond about her photographic project. I could literally feel the sheer joy that danced all over their faces as Emily spoke about the contributions made by these 150 women. It made me realize the absolute significance of the photo shoot.
Seeing the ladies’ stories on the news made everything so real. I had goose bumps watching black women from Toronto and the GTA given the spotlight for excelling in careers not typically held by women of colour, and for making a difference in their careers and community. I was overflowing with pride inside. I could just imagine how everyone else felt.
It was also this week that I finally got to share my blog post about the experience. I had held onto the “secret photo shoot” for soooo long. I was happy to finally speak about it.
February 27, 2017 – #HerstoryinBlack celebration at the CBC building
I have never felt as honoured, overwhelmed, humbled and proud as I did on that day. After all of Emily’s hard work orchestrating the “never-been-done” photo shoot, the ladies from the photo series were going to come together to commemorate its significance.
Around 5:45 pm I walked into the CBC building and I started to feel emotional. The #HerstoryinBlack pictures were on full display and some of the ladies were walking about. It brought back the excitement I felt at the photo shoot.
Almost an hour into the festivities, I, along with the other women from the shoot, were asked to leave the reception and to reconvene in another room. Emily wanted to have a few words with us before the night went on. She thanked us for believing in her idea, for being part of the process, and she shared how grateful she was to see her dream come to fruition. Her words gave me chills and I tried like crazy to hold back tears.
Before we returned to the party, we took a massive selfie which was subsequently retweeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – seriously.
Then the party started!
We were entertained by Amanda Parris (host of Exhibitionists and Marvin’s Room)– our bubbly emcee for the night, d’bi Young Anitafrika – dub poet, educator and playwright, blessed us with a hard hitting, emotionally driven poem called Black Woman, and then R&B diva, Jully Black hit the stage.
Her powerful performance of “Glass Ceiling” was outstanding and so fitting for the occasion. I’m kinda embarrassed to admit that I have never heard the song before, but you can believe that I downloaded it as soon as I got home. It’s empowering, impactful – and oh yeah, my new anthem.
After her performance, the party didn’t stop. DJ Mel Boogie hit us with some party music (the soca hit the spot!), we took a few more pics, and then the night was done.
I was on cloud 9 the whole night, and I literally felt like I floated all the way home. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
By the way, I’m writing this blog post a full week after the party happened, and I have not stopped talking about it. I would do anything to go back in time to relive it again. #backtothefuture
Thanks so much for your vision, passion, persistence, love and support, Emily. It is an honour knowing you!