Let Me Adjust Your Crown

Let Me Adjust Your Crown

Hey, Sis, let me adjust your crown for you! In this edition of Sassy we are reminding you that you are royalty. You call the shots for your own life. You set the standard and the standard has been raised.    

King Me

The Flow by Stephanie McBee

If I don’t know anything else, I know that every black woman who left an AMC theater this weekend is giving every Tom, Dick, and Harry the side eye, whispering, “I wish a mutha *%&# would try me!!!” Okay, maybe it was just me sharpening my nails ready to claw some eyeballs...

Listen, if you have yet to make your way to the theater, I implore you to make haste and give “The Woman King” 2 hours and 14 min of your time. You won’t regret it; and let me tell you why…I promise there are no spoilers here.  

“The Woman King” is the story of an all-female military unit in the 1800s, called the Agojie who were the fierce protectors of the African Kingdom of Dahomey. The film exquisitely tracks the journey of General Nanisca (Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of warriors ahead of a battle that could destroy the lives of everyone around them. Now, let the critics tell it, there’s some misrepresentation of history. Boycotters of the film are claiming that the movie victimizes the Dahomey people, ignoring their active participation of the slave trade. I think the movie made clear the complications and nuances of African involvement in the slave trade; and I suspect that the haters aren't boycotting inaccuracies so much as the celebration of Black women.

And there is much to celebrate! Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu and the entire cast held up a mirror for every black woman to see herself in the most illuminating way possible. For decades, the entertainment industry has behaved as though the stories of black people begin with slavery. But on Saturday afternoon I received a new and liberating history lesson.

Film director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, brilliantly depicted dark-skinned, black women. Yes, it was a story that embodied pain, loss, and trauma; but those moments were brilliantly balanced with excitement, joy, hope, and love. The warriors were intelligent, funny, silly, cunning, athletic, and gifted; they were like me and the women in my own life. This was undoubtedly the first time I’ve watched a black woman’s story so profoundly told and rooted in love, joy, purpose, and passion, while avoiding the need to languish in brutality when revisiting a tortured past. This wasn’t just the film that my 6-year-old self-needed to see, but this 36-year-old woman needed to see too.

“The Woman King” just might become a movement. Black women are shifting the narrative, baby; so, you better catch up or get left behind! We’re putting the world on notice that we are taking up space, front and center of every good thing that our hands touch; because, baby, our magic has been brewing quietly behind the scenes for far too long… centuries even. We're setting ourselves free.

Protect Black Girls

She's Gotta Have It by Austin Channing Brown

I’m a statement t-shirt kinda girl. I have a drawer full of nothing but statement tees: People over profit, Power to the people, Your vote, your voice... I love them all. But the one that has topped the list is this cute little number called “Protect All Black Girls" from Legendary Rootz

This is the message I want to shout everyday. This is perhaps the message that defines every piece of work I put out into the world. It’s what I want more than anything- for our girls to be protected, fiercely.

I have the short sleeve version, but with winter on the way- I might need to grab a long sleeve version so I can remind people year round how I expect Black girls to be treated.


by Jenny Booth Potter

Stress makes men mad and women calm. Both men and women release oxytocin when experiencing extreme stress. When this oxytocin combines with estrogen, it makes women calmer because we tend to seek out connection. We “tend and befriend” in stress, leading to an increase in calm. Daryn Eller, Gender and Stress, WebMD

Tapping Into Your Strength

Cramping My Style by Brooke Campbell

The media needle often points to those who are the loudest, not necessarily the commonalities of the masses.  And somehow the loudest have translated strength into hardness and liberation into libido. Don't get me wrong, I'm not discouraging busting it wide open on the regular. By all means, ladies, please get yours. Nor am I suggesting that we shouldn't be "strong".  Independence and autonomy over our choices and bodies is a beautiful thing. It is something we've marched, prayed, and fought for.

But for me, freedom blooms in choice, not necessarily in action. I believe popular culture would have us to believe the opposite. Let me explain:

We get to choose what we do, what we believe, what we say, and what we stand for.  The societal pendulum swings wildly, but that doesn't mean we have to become a passenger atop it, like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.

Our energy and focus can instead be spent on attempting to hone our "me-ness". We can focus on cultivating our theology, ideology, and identity.  On exploring and excavating.  Not on mindless political alignment for fear of retribution.  Or trying to prove we're woke enough to avoid triggering the opinions of others. Or holding on to antiquated views because we've inherited a hand-me-down belief system.  Or proving how fiercely independent we are, or how sexually unhampered we are. Or perfecting a costume of thick lashes and inflatable asses to entice the attention we think will fill a gaping wound.

Womanhood isn't about perfecting a caricature. It isn't about keeping up with societal norms.  Pain, depression, self-loathing, loneliness, emptiness, one-dimensional-ness, insecurities, doubt, fear - whatever your shit, rest assured that plastic eventually rises to the surface. Let’s fill ourselves with authenticity- solid, deep, deliberate.  Let's spend our time, energy and strength to become someone we are proud of.  It takes a true act of strength to excavate our true needs, desires, and selves.

Pregnant Pause

by Stephanie McBee

To the women who are out there on the periphery, working, grinding, surviving or thriving; keep shining your beautiful and glorious light. We see you, and we’re proud of you, boo!

Super Chips

Cravings by Jenny Booth Potter

There are regular foods, and there are superfoods. At least according to the internet, foods like kale are an excellent source of nutrients including folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber. My favorite way to eat anything is in chip form, and kale chips might sound like an oxymoron, but they are actually delicious. This recipe has been adpated from Smitten Kitchen's Baked Kale Chips.