Hey, Black Gurl!
I’m Erica! A loving wife to my husband of 15 years, a superheroine to my two beautiful daughters, a dedicated educator by day, a passionate entrepreneur by night, and a budding podcast personality with an all-consuming proclivity for books that explore Black life and consciousness!
In 2019, I got a divorce. NOT from my husband. But, rather from my vast collection of books. It was a somewhat painful event--a slow death. You know how some say, “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone?” Well, that was me. For over 20 years, I had built up a collection of hundreds and hundreds of books and in a flash, they were all gone. I had recently watched Marie Kondo’s entire series on Netflix and did what many people were doing at the time--tidying up and clearing out bookshelves. It also didn’t help that my family and I were actually downsizing at the time, so the thought of getting rid of my books made so much sense.
Now it’s a year later and I miss them. Though there are many that needed to go, there are so many more that I wish I would have kept. Bestsellers, books read for fun, books to inspire me, books that struck a nerve in my soul--all gone! I no longer have any of the books from my years as an English Lit. and African American Studies major. I no longer have any of the books I’d acquired from my years as a high school English teacher or as a doctoral student in Education. I don’t even have most of the texts from my time as an Education professor:(.
I have only one crate of books left. And yes, I’ll admit it’s still in my storage unit. This time around I will be more intentional and collect the books that I am truly interested in and those that also fit the mission of the Black Gurl Institute--books that’ll allow us to stretch and think more deeply about topics that matter to us! I’m excited!
I love to write about and discuss what I read. Yet, most of the time those discussions are with my husband (whom most times has not read the book, btw). Nevertheless, I craved having a space to converse with other Black women and that is why I founded the Black Gurl Institute. I wanted to create a platform where Black women are transformed with, for, and by other Black women!
My Top 10 (A little more about me)
I love these five thinkers and creatives: Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Nickole Hannah Jones (founder of the 1619 Project), & The Afrominimalist--Christine Platt (I follow the latter on IG and she’s awesome!). And who wouldn’t have Michelle Obama on the list? That’s just obvious!
Octavia Butler’s Kindred (fiction)
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (non-fiction)
The Five Heartbeats
Green & Gray
Starbuck’s Strawberry Acai Refresher
Place to Shop:
It’s a toss up between Old Navy and Ulta Beauty