If you’ve been following me long enough, then you know that not only am I passionate about singleness, but I love all things women empowerment, especially when it comes to women of color. So naturally, the Black Women’s Expo at the McCormick Place, here in Chicago, this past weekend was exactly where I needed to be.
For those who aren’t familiar, or aren’t from here, the Black Women’s Expo is a three-day long, yearly event, catering to women of color. It’s purpose is to uplift and empower women from all walks of life through impactful seminars, panel discussions, exhibitors, and of course, entertainment. Since its inception over 18 years ago, the Black Women’s Expo has grown into one of the nation’s largest and most attended weekend-long events for women of color, and continues to grow year by year.
Surprisingly, this was my first time attending, and when I say I had an amazing time, girl, I had an AH-MAZING time. First of all, the energy was incredible. So many black women in every shade of beautiful, all there to love on and support one another. And whether they were there for the various seminars, concerts, activities, or to shop from various vendor tables, one thing was certain, the atmosphere was such that if you were to come into that place running on empty, you definitely left feeling full.
And since we’re on the topic of vendors, they were plentiful! From hair and skin care, to makeup, to health and wellness, to fashion, to literature, whatever you thought you didn’t need could be found there. At every vendor table, I was greeted with a warm smile, and an even more welcoming, “Hello”. They really made it hard for you to walk past each table without stopping for a quick talk, sample, or if you’re anything like me, walking away with something new to add to your growing list of products from black-owned businesses. I can definitely say that I spent far too much money, but each item was well worth it.
After walking through each aisle of the vendor space, I made my way to a seminar entitled, “Black Girl Magic: Understanding Your Value as a Black Woman, and Using it to Run the World”, hosted by WGCI’s Kendra G, stylist, Melah Styles, and none other than rapper, Remy Ma. The conversation started out with Melah getting the crowd hyped up and ready to give Remy a warm welcome. And we were all more than excited to see her.
(pictured from l to r: Melah Styles, Remy Ma, Kendra G; photo by TC Photography)
Once the excitement died down, Kendra G opened up the discussion asking Remy a series of questions ranging from her time away, to how she reintroduced and reacclimated herself to society, and even how she feels about Cardi B announcing her pregnancy (which she was so in support of). Those who follow Remy Ma, know that she is one for uplifting and encouraging women, and each one of her answers was not without an empowering message.
When it came to questions about love and marriage, both Melah (who has been married for 14 years), and Remy (who has been married for going on ten to Papoose, who was also there), emphasised the importance of having open communication with your partner, understanding his needs, and being one another’s best friend. They even touched on their weightloss journeys, loving themselves, and loving one another. Which I feel is a lesson we can never get tired of hearing about. Melah at one point even shared a funny story on how she received the news that she would be speaking alongside and introducing Remy Ma.
When the floor opened up for Q&A from the audience, the ladies in attendance asked questions ranging from how to do it all, to being nicer to your man, and even holding out for the right one, which Kendra G answered perfectly. All in all, I left that seminar feeling like my dreams can come true, there is beauty in second chances, and to continue to support and inspire my sisters. Oh and of course to continue to honor my body and my heart, and wait for my forever bae.
The 2018 Black Women’s Expo was one to remember, and I’m upset with myself for not attending all three days. Just going on Sunday, I received more hugs, smiles, and warmth than I thought I would, and can only imagine what the other two days were like. Next year, I will definitely be attending the entire weekend, and who knows, maybe one year, I’ll be speaking on a panel alongside one of your faves (claiming it already!).
For updates on all thing Black Women’s Expo, be sure to follow them on Twitter @BlackWomensExpo, and you can also visit their website at www.theblackwomensexpo.com.