Welcome to Sassy With Substance!

To the pretty lady with the high heels on and her head held high; to the well-rounded woman who can quote Shakespeare and Zora Neale Hurston but also bop to Beyonce’s Renaissance and vibe to Megan Thee Stallion; to the sexy, sassy, and substantive woman; to the growth-oriented woman who has the time and mental energy to pursue self-development content; to the ambitious woman who wants to level the fuck up; to the intelligent woman who frequents bookstores or listens to audiobooks and podcasts; to the educated and career oriented woman who has experienced varying degrees of success; to the woman whose crown is tilted at a seemingly undetectable angle; to the queen who needs that slight nudge:

YOU are my priority.

People assume we have our shit together, and the truth is that we often do. Or sometimes we are high functioning individuals, appearing organized and at ease. 

Regardless, we need others to pour into us, to speak life into us, to uplift us, to console us, to show up for us, to nurture us, to love and adore us. I want to serve you in this way. I want to add value to your life. I know many people take from you; I just want to give

As a stable, solid, and dynamic woman, it is likely that you have encountered: 

  1. People who live parasitic lifestyles 
  2. People who view you as a rehabilitation center 
  3. People whose behavior and actions are fueled by their deep-seated insecurities (i.e. people who are threatened by you and therefore try to make you feel small) 

And as much as I’d like to pretend that these type of people don’t phase us, they do! In fact, my very first blog article—split into three parts—discusses the lessons I’ve learned from being in a long term relationship with one of those people. Being a stable, solid, and dynamic woman doesn’t mean you are immune to trickery, manipulation, and deception!

However, I walked away from that experience wiser and more knowledgeable. I have SO many gems to share with you all!

So…if you’re ready to level the fuck up, to know more, to live with intentionality and purpose, strut down this catwalk with me. I have fallen on my face plenty of times but always with grace, sass, and a whole lotta sexy :-p 

Thanks for being here and for being present,

 Chi-Chi 💁🏽‍♀️💅🏽👑🤓

Writing as a vocation 

My stories and experiences—particularly when they are written—lead me to freedom. No one can convince me otherwise. 

  1. Writing helps me process and interpret the world around me.
  2. Writing is where I feel most alive.
  3. Writing is where I grapple with harsh truths.
  4. Writing is where I have emerged from my silence despite my fear. 
  5. Writing is where I have learned to protect myself and others.
  6. Writing has restored my faith in humanity. 

Side note: This country’s devotion to and obsession with western epistemology is a threat to Black women’s freedom. My experiences and stories matter; they are a form of evidence and knowledge! 

A Note on Credibility

I am accustomed to relying on my degrees and educational background as a means of establishing credibility. And while those things are important, my life experiences–academic, personal, and professional—are the heart of this piece (and will be what I draw from in subsequent articles).

I’ve lived, worked, studied, and even loved beyond the United States, so my worldview and perspective differ from most. What I’ve learned from my experiences could never be acquired in a classroom or university setting, at least not with the same level of ferocity. 

Because I value transparency, I will share my credentials

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Cultural Studies and Communication, minors in education, English, and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies (lots of coursework in these areas) 

Graduate Degree: MA in teaching

Some housekeeping items:

  • I am a social justice oriented thinker and writer who welcomes opposing views with enthusiasm. Affirmation keeps us comfortable; dissent keeps us smart. Please share your ideas with respect, because as Erykah Badu expressed, “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit!”
  • I come from a long, cultural tradition of intersectional activism, humanist advocacy, and radical dreaming; the quest for justice and the pursuit of truth is a responsibility I inherited. Thus, my identity as a Black woman will always shape how I engage with the world.  I argue that my interpretive framework–comprising my lived experiences, social identities, cultural models, literary and theoretical influences, value systems  (and the historical contexts that undergird each because we don’t exist in vacuums)—is incontestably unique and an asset to all.
  •  Without Black feminist thinkers, writers, and activists, this world would collapse, disintegrate even.You will likely see me reference them throughout my work.
  • I say, do, and think “traditionally feminist” shit, but I’m not a fan of the moniker. I prefer a more cross-pollinated term that caresses every facet of my being (perhaps that Alice Walker’s term “womanist”)
  • My writing will be infused with Black English; the stories of my ancestors lie in this language, and it is my responsibility to preserve them. Evaluating a minoritized social group’s intellectual value based on acquisition of dominant cultural practices (like language) is a form of covert racism. African Americans exhibit linguistic adeptness through African-American Vernacular English, a rich and complex form of oral expression with well-documented grammatical rules and patterns. However, honoring Black cultural capital does not necessarily entail deemphasizing standard English. In fact, the culture of power requires standard English proficiency to access mainstream spaces, and I must also say that my acquisition and learning of SE ensured I was able to thrive in spaces I was never meant to survive. The conscious coupling of BE + SE best reflects how I choose to move through the world, and I won’t apologize for that! Don’t wreck me, radicals!!!
  • I curse sporadically. Some things simply demand more emphatic language!