Black Girl On A MISSION: Dr. Yaba Blay

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Celebrating Dr. Yaba Blay of Professional Black Girl

What Is Your Company's Mission?

PROFESSIONAL BLACK GIRL is a transmedia project created to celebrate everyday Black Girl Magic, because yes, round-the-way girls got magic too! By announcing ourselves "Professional Black Girls," Black women and girls assert an unapologetic identity in a world that too often tries to tell us how we "ought to" act. We know that "acting" like anything other than ourselves robs us of our freedom, so instead we choose, embrace, and celebrate ourselves. We are professional code-switchers. We hold Ph.Ds and listen to trap music. We twerk and we work. We are Professional Black Girls.

What Was The Inspiration Behind Your Business?

In 2014, I started using the hashtag #ProfessionalBlackGirl on Instagram as a way to mark what’s OURS as Black girls. You see it. You feel it. You may not have known what to call it or maybe you mistakenly called it something else like “ghetto” or “hood” or “ratchet.” But admit it - NOBODY does it like how we do it. NOBODY. In naming what WE do, and how WE do it “Professional,” I am recognizing the skill, the talent, the effort, the energy, the beauty, and the power in it – whatever “it” is. Everyday, round-the-way Black girls contribute to mainstream culture (hell, WE ARE mainstream culture) and we don't get the credit and the honor that we deserve for our cultural labor. And in the era of the Kardashians and those two Jenners, what WE do and how WE do it is also cultural property. By marking what we do and how we do it as "Professional," I recognize that we deserve acknowledgment, if not respect.

What Impact Do You Envision Your Company Will Make Within The Next 5 Years?

Of course, I envision that the Professional Black Girl video series and online community will continue to blossom; but I also envision that more of us will feel free to be us, loud and proud, and I would love to believe that will be, in no small part, due to the impact that Professional Black Girl makes.


Who Are Your Dream Collaborators?

Issa Rae


Want to learn more about Dr. Yaba and Professional Black Girl? Keep up with her here:

@professionalblackgirl (IG)

@fiyawata (IG/Twitter)

Let Dr. Yaba hold $20 and donate to season 2.


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