Celebrate Black Womanhood With New ‘Professional Black Girl’ Trailer

By Sameer Rao Sep 06, 2016

With her new project, scholar (and past Colorlines contributor) Dr. Yaba Blay brings her career-long exploration of Black women’s empowerment and resistance in the face of racist patriarchy to YouTube.

"When I say I’m a professional Black girl, I’m not identifying as someone who’s well-accomplished in her job, her career or her profession—though I am, be clear," Blay says in the trailer for "Professional Black Girl." "I’m announcing myself as someone who takes being a Black girl very seriously."

Blay’s series, which premieres this Friday (September 9), features interviews from 17 Black women and girls* across generations sharing what being a Professional Black Girl means to them. The trailer touches on some of those definitions, which reflect an assertion of identity in a world that too often tries to silence Black women’s voices.

"The terminology that is often used to describe and define Black girls—such as bad, grown, fast, ghetto and ratchet—are non-affirming and are words that are intended to kill the joy and magic within all Black girls," Blay writes in the trailer’s description. "We are professional code-switchers, hair-flippers, hip-shakers and go-getters. We hold Ph.Ds and listen to trap music; we twerk and we work. We hold it down while lifting each other up, and we don’t have to justify or explain our reason for being. This is us."

Check out the trailer and follow the #ProfessionalBlackGirl hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to further celebrate Black womanhood.

*Colorlines Editorial Director Akiba Solomon features in the series and trailer.