Shades of Strong is a global movement cultivating and nurturing seeds of true strength, hope, healing, and happiness into a verdant forest of strong and vulnerable Black women, so that they and their daughters and their daughters’ daughters may come to sit under those branches and inherit healing and wholeness.
We are committed to showing the Black woman how to honor her full range of emotions, including vulnerability, while exercising self-care, and not being afraid to get the support she needs when she needs it.
To eradicate the myths, remove the stigma and dismantle the trope of the Strong Black Woman while connecting individual experiences to societal, systemic and religious issues.
Black women are exhausted because society, religion, and the culture refuse to give them space to grieve, to pause, to rest, to simply be whoever they are in any given moment. Shades of Strong is here to disrupt the madness.
We operate from a place of HUMANNESS, REST, INDIVIDUALITY, and IMPACT. We welcome Black women from all walks of life to join us in our endeavor to redefine the Strong Black Woman. We honor the whole of who Black women are, strengths and flaws, vulnerability and all.
We promise to honor and celebrate the totality of the Black woman while shining a light on the Black women who are using their voices, creativity, and talents to make an impact on the Black female experience. Black women are out here doing the ALL THE THINGS and we promise to never forget that without those who came before us, there would be no us to celebrate.
We’re here to shake things up a bit because long gone are the days when Black women are taking care of everybody while nobody is taking care of them. We are NOT the mules of the world and we will not accept being treated as such. We are well educated, well accomplished individuals making things happen and we look good doing it, but we are no longer doing it to the detriment of our mental and emotional well being. We dance to the beat of our own strong figuratively and literally.
For years Black women have suffered in silence because society has conditioned us, and religion has led us to believe that we’ve gotta have it together at all times – even when tragedy strikes.
So here’s a question for ya …
Why are we letting other people tell us how to live our lives? Why are we letting them tell us that we have to be strong by their definition?
Why can’t we dance to the beat of our own STRONG?
Helllooo! WE CAN!
Black women can do anything we set our minds to. We are strong, but we are tired of wearing that cape and rocking that S. Not only is the struggle to be all the things to to all the people affecting our mental and emotional health, it also promotes the stereotype that we don’t deserve the same protections afforded to other women.
Shades of Strong is boldly declaring, NO MORE!
IT IS OUR BIRTHRIGHT to be our truest, realest, unmasked selves every second, every minute, every hour of every day.
We were born naked and vulnerable — freely embracing and experiencing every emotion.
We DO NOT have to give that up to be Strong, Black and Woman. You see, contrary to what we’ve been led to believe
THE STRENGTH OF A WOMAN LIES IN THE
POWER OF HER NAKEDNESS — HER HUMANNESS.
And we demand to be given the same respect, courtesies and opportunities that all cultures enjoy.
The Face Behind the Movement
Hi, I’m Shirley Hubbard, creator of this amazing movement. I was going to use this space to give you a buttoned up, stuffy, and professional version of me complete with a fancy title, but in the interest of keeping it 100 and just because I don’t want to…
See that girl in the photo to the left? Yeah! That’s ME!
I’m a super goofy, put the fun in dysFUNctional, brutally honest (but I say it in love), girls just wanna have fun kinda girl who loves a random selfie shoot in front of the webcam. And I LIVE for a pair of distressed jeans and some super cute heels. So, if you see a sale somewhere, hit your girl up.
I’m usually hanging around on happy to be free boulevard, located at the intersection of awesome and bomb digity!
That’s where I’ve taken up residence since saying a BIG OL FAT yes to taking back my freedom, peace and happiness aka DANCING TO THE BEAT OF MY OWN STRONG.
Sis, I am not out here in these streets trying to pretend like I always have my ish together. I know from years of observing the ‘strong’ Black women in my life, I will never thrive that way. So, I’m out here keeping it all the way 100.