Name and occupation?
Odette Hooks, Inspirational Speaker, Life Coach and Author
What do you love most about being a Black woman?
If the question were asked what do you love about being a woman than the answer would have been simple. However, in order to tell what I love the most about being a black woman, I would have to speak to you about the black woman’s past in order for you to appreciate my answer. If I simply told you what I love about being a black woman without the back-story, one would probably think that my answer was average and unappealing. So allow me to stir an image in your mind. The black woman: extracted from her native country and brought to a foreign land to be enslaved as a servant and used to breed more slaves. She was raped, beaten, and physically separated from her children due to slave trade and financial gain, not allowed to show forth her beauty and essence, nor to be educated or given the right to vote, but rather judged unworthy simply because of the color of her skin. This leads me to why I love being a black woman. I love being a black woman because I can apologetically be me – a wife, mother of three, entrepreneur, sister and friend. I can live my dreams, hopes and ambitions; love, laugh and truly be happy. I have the opportunity each and ever day to be a positive example to my 23 year old daughter teaching her that as a black women you can achieve an education and own your own businesses. Happily married for 21 years, I can show my daughter that a black woman can have a successful marriage and raise her children to be anything they can dream to be. I am honored that God chose to endow me with the color of strength and I do not apologize for being who I am because I love being me, a woman of color.
Who or what inspires you?
Living in a world filled with so much turmoil, senseless killings, lying and cheating to get ahead, stealing, and so many other saddening statistics, finding a source of inspiration can be challenging; I like to focus on the good. Those good things are happiness, joy, laughter, times of peace, love, family and friends, helping and empowering others. Therefore, I read a love letter everyday to inspire me to choose to enjoy the good things this life has to offer me. This love letter is inspiring because it’s written to me therefore it is very personal. In these beautiful letters I gain strength, find new joy, greater peace, and longer happiness. I learn better how to love myself and how to love others. The intimately warm feeling that comes daily while reading my love letters makes me wish that all individuals could feel like this everyday. These love letters come to me from the uncompromisable words of God in his Holy Bible. They are the most inspiring words I have ever read.
What advice do you have for other Black women or men?
In the society we live in there are so many expectations of what we should like, how we should look, what we should wear, who we should date or be friends with, etc. The greatest advice I can give to anyone, not just black men and women, is to love yourself unconditionally. There are so many people in this nation, especially people of color, which demonstrate actions that would lead one to believe they do not love themselves. When love is not nurtured within ones being how then can love be given out to someone else, not to mention receiving love back? Love is the strongest force on earth in my opinion and we have to give it to ourselves first in order to give some to others. It’s like karma; what you put out comes back. Therefore, love yourself so you can love others and they can give it right back but in abundance
Anything else you`d like to add?
Live life to the fullest. Know who you are and your worth. You are worth more precious than diamonds, rubies, pearls, silver and gold; you are priceless. www.willandodette.com
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