A Journey to Being Soft and Strong

Do Black women GET to be soft and strong? Do they have the capacity to be soft, feminine, strong and receptive?  There are so many layers to these questions, and Ivory Bennett stopped by to start peeling them all back. 

Join us in today’s episode as she takes us on a journey of what it took for her to finally tap into being soft, feminine, and receptive. Ivory admits that arriving in this space hasn’t been easy, and it is indeed challenging to remain there, but she’s determined not to go back to that space where being hard was all she had. She gets really candid and transparent about how racism and spending seventeen years in foster care made it extremely difficult to be soft as a matter of fact, she tells a story how being soft was not an option until she got deliberate  and intentional about making it one.

Tweetable Moments:

“Being strong doesn’t have to look, sound or feel a certain way, and being soft doesn’t
have to go against our survival.”

“As Black women we can unconsciously, or sometimes deliberately
make it difficult for other Black women to rest.”

“We need to get out of the mindset of hardening people up, or getting them prepared
for the world in a way that is damaging…”


Ivory Bennett (She/Her/Hers) is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native who is currently a Manager of Teacher Leadership and Development in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, Ivory is an active advocate for both education and foster care equity – she has 17 years of lived experience in foster care. Outside of Education, Ivory is an avid writer with a particular passion for poetry and playwriting. Ivory loves international travel, holistic health practices, vegan soul food, and tending to her plant babies. 

Check out Ivory’s article mentioned in today’s episode HERE.

Connect with Ivory Bennett on Instragram, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn.

Your Turn, Sis!

We’re using our My Strong Is™ campaign to encourage our listeners to give up a life of hyper-independence, hyper-productivity, and hyper-resilience in exchange for one of play and ease.

My Strong Is is a campaign where we’re highlighting Black women who are daring to do strong differently – Black women who are making a conscious and deliberate effort to give up a life of caping, masking, and hiding.

We would love to hear how you define strong. All you have to do is complete the statement, “My strong is” and tag us (@shadesofstrong) on your favorite social media platform using the hashtags #shadesofstrong and #mystrongis. Alternatively, you can come be our guest on the podcast and share your strong with our listeners. Either way, we want to know!!! 

Connect with Shades of Strong on Instagram,  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn catch up with all things Shades of Strong at www.shadesofstrong.com.

Catch up on Previous Episodes:

S5 | Ep 004 The Journey Towards, Vulnerability, Grace, and Ease
S5 | Ep 003 Mental Health, Resilience, and Postpartum Depression
S5 | Ep 002
Steady, Present, and Free Even When Life Be Lifing

S5 | Ep 001 Finding Comfort in Stitting with Uncomfortable Emotions
Superwoman Must Die | Slaying the Strong Black Woman Syndrome