Shades of Strong ™ | Dismantling the Myths & Stereotypes of the Strong Black Woman-logo

Shades of Strong ™ | Dismantling the Myths & Stereotypes of the Strong Black Woman


Shades of Strong™ is a conversational podcast working to dismantle the myths & stereotypes of the Strong Black Woman by holding space for Black women to uncape, unmask and unhide so that they can be whatever shade of strong that feels right for them.

Shades of Strong™ is a conversational podcast working to dismantle the myths & stereotypes of the Strong Black Woman by holding space for Black women to uncape, unmask and unhide so that they can be whatever shade of strong that feels right for them.


United States


Shades of Strong™ is a conversational podcast working to dismantle the myths & stereotypes of the Strong Black Woman by holding space for Black women to uncape, unmask and unhide so that they can be whatever shade of strong that feels right for them.






Identifying the Layers of the Black Superwoman Cape

Black women have been rocking the Black superwoman cape since we were little Black girls. Don't believe it? Check out Shirl's "Red Rover" story in this first episode of Season 4. Tune in as Shirl and Natty give you a behind the scenes look at what caping, masking and hiding looks like for them, how it all started, the NUMBER ONE thing the cape is costing them and how they're learning to ditch the cape piece by piece, layer by layer. This episode also takes a look at: How the superwoman cape...


Season 4 Trailer | Things We've Lost to the Superwoman Cape

Sis, aren't you tired of rocking that Superwoman cape? Aren't you tired of letting "them" tell you how to do life, how to do strong? If you answered yes, season four is just what you need to start the journey to uncaping. The theme for this season is "Things We've Lost to the [Superwoman] Cape" and we're talking about ALL THE THINGS the cape is costing us and how we ditch the cape piece by piece layer by layer. The cape is costing ALOT: Sisterhood and community Relationship and intimacy Our...


Healing the Little Black Girl Behind the Strong Black Woman

It's time to heal the little Black girl behind the strong Black woman. The life you long for, the deep connections you desire are buried inside the little Black girl behind the Strong Black woman. The little Black girl who was conditioned to never cry, ask for help or need anyone, the little Black girl who was taught to mimic happiness even when her heart was breaking, the little Black girl who was led to believe that it’s better to be seen and not heard. Aren’t you ready to reacquaint...


Rest. Because Sometimes Your Strength Gets Tired

Rest is NOT just another four letter word. Your body is your temple, your temple is your strength, and sometimes your strength gets tired. When that happens, it's time to explore the temple to determine which part of this sacred space needs rest. The goal here is to have a calm, stable energy throughout the day everyday and the only way we can get there is to take care of the temple. Tune in as Shirl takes listeners on a behind the scenes tour of the "temple" to see what REST really looks...


The Fine Line Between Being Independent and TOO Independent

There’s a difference between doing something because you have to or because you don’t have support and doing something because you don’t trust anyone else to do it, because you don’t want to relinquish control, or because you don’t want to owe anyone anything. That’s the FINE line ladies. Often we allow our lived experiences to unconsciously push us to the that “Too independent space. So, here’s the deal… It’s okay to let him lead. It’s okay to give up some control. You are beautiful,...


Never Let What THEY Think of You Silence You

Being a Black woman often means that our words and our emotions are weaponized and used against us. We’re compared to pit bulls when we speak up using a tone that demands respect, while our white counterparts are seen as passionate and brave for doing the exact same thing. Because of that, you’ll find yourself sitting in silence and hiding what you’re really feeling because you’re “strong” and that’s what the superwoman cape requires, right? Or maybe you were raised in an environment where...


You Get to Be Strong and Vulnerable

One of the primary reasons Black women often avoid vulnerability is because we’re a part of a culture that stigmatizes being vulnerable. In this episode Shirl talks about what vulnerability is, what it is NOT and offers some simple things we can do to begin to give voice to our needs, feelings and emotions and still withhold pieces of yourself that you're not ready to share with the world.


Strong Black Women Feel Things Too

How many times has something happened in your life and you find yourself staring in the mirror mouthing the words... I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Why am crying about this? Suck it up, girl. You’re stronger than this! Get your sh** together NOW. When you do this, you invalidate your feelings. You have a right to feel whatever you’re feeling in any given moment. Why are you depriving yourself of that? There’s no right or wrong way to feel when life happens. You. you feel how you feel. Our...


You Are the Most Important Person in Your Life

As Black women we are born nurturers, but because of life’s circumstances we have a skewed perception of what that means; but even more that life’s circumstances, our perception of what it means to be nurturers can be greatly contributed to learned behavior dating back to childhood. And that learned behavior dates back to the days of slavery. The slave owners and their wives taught us that everybody’s health and wellness was more important than the health and wellness of the Black woman. Our...


Is It Time to Retire the Strong Black Woman Title?

Many are talking about how problematic it is how it may be time to retire the Strong Black Woman label. Tarij P. Henson in particular has been very vocal about her discomfort with the label Strong Black Woman. In an interview with Essence she talked in detail about how “many of us [Black women] proudly take on the “strong Black woman” identity not realizing that we’re sending the message that we can bear the weight of the world on our shoulders without breaking a sweat. She goes on to talk...


Season Finale | Let's Imagine a New Normal Together

The running theme for 2020 has been EXHAUSTED for a lot of us, but most of us are still finding ways to maintain our sanity in the midst of it all. In this episode Natty and I give listeners a sneak peek into some of the revelations we've encountered during this time of uncertainty and some new healthy and life changing practices that we've taken on for the sake of our mental and emotional wellness. This is our final episode of the season, but we'll still be around. So be sure to follow us...


It's Time to Level Up. Can You Help a Sista Out?

It's been a few weeks since we've released an episode because you know.......LIFE! Let me just tell ya, homeschooling/virtual learning with elementary age children is NO EASY FEAT! Chile!!! I'm struggling over here. In this short bonus episode I share the struggle with y'all and invite you help Natty and I level up by answering a few questions to help us better support you. It only takes about two minutes to complete our short questionnaire about what you want Shades of Strong to look like...


Black from the Past™ | Honoring Phyllis Hyman

In this week's minisode of Black from the Past™ we're shining a light on the breathtakingly beautiful and amazingly talented Phyllis Hyman. Phyliss Hyman was a Philadelphia native best known for her contributions to the music world during the late 1970s through the early 1990s. She had this sultry, velvety and smokey gorgeous voice that absolutely could not be mistaken. In her own words, she liked songs that talked about the the emotional side of people, which is evident in her album, Living...


Colorism | When They Say You’re Pretty for a Dark Skinned Girl

" Colorism "You're pretty for a dark skinned girl." "I don't usually date dark skinned girls." Has anyone ever had the audacity to utter those words to you? I certainly hope not. But let's be real, if those words had never been uttered, we wouldn't be having the colorism conversation, right? Dating back to the days of slavery, the chains of colorism were woven into our psyche and are deep within the fabric of our brains, but does mean that we have to succumb to the ridiculous belief one...


Black from the Past™ | Honoring Margaret Garner

Welcome to the very first minisode in our Black from the Past™ series. Black from the Past™ is our contribution to preserving and normalizing Black history. Here's where we shine a light on Black women who are often forgotten, but have most certainly made an impact on the Black female culture. Today's spotlight is shinning bright on Margaret Garner, who in one heart wrenching moment slit the throat of her 2-year-old daughter rather than return her to slavery. Tune in to hear an account of...


The Sexualization of Black Women and Girls

The sexualization of Black women and girls has its roots in slavery and racism and heavily contributes to rape culture internally and externally. And to add insult to injury, mainstream media has been oversexualizing the Black female body for years, for CENTURIES. Well, y’all know Natty and I are ALWAYS down for a good session of disrupting the madness because... We are of the belief that Black women should be able to wear whatever they want with all the curves they have without being...


Why Millennials and Gen Z’ers Are Rejecting Being Strong

Hey y'all! What is up! What is happening! We are back and we are ready to get back to dropping the dopeness and realness that is Shades of Strong episodes. We appreciate your patience AND loyalty as we took some time to rest, regroup, and strategize for the remainder of the season. In this episode Natty and I tell you what we've been up during the hiatus and recap what we have planned for the Shades of Strong movement moving forward. Here a few things we chatted about: Natty's new journaling...


Dear Black People, It's Okay to Pause From the Cause

Black people are still our here fighting for the right to JUST BE -- you know ALIVE. And I'm here for ALL OF IT! I'm happy to see so many Black People on the front lines fighting against racism even while we're in the middle of a global pandemic. A number of changes have already taken place because Black People are refusing to be silent. We are demanding to be seen and heard. But, here's the deal. Although I recognize that PAUSING FOR THE CAUSE is essential for change to happen, I also...


People Pleasing Ain't It | Live Your Life, Sis

People-pleasing is a habit that we’ve all fallen prey to at some point in our lives. It is the act of pleasing other people instead of doing the things that we know will make us happy or the things that will bring us peace. People pleasing wears many faces, but the one we’re undoubtedly most familiar with is saying yes when we REALLY want to say no, even when we know we’re already stretched beyond capacity. But did you know that people pleasing comes out of a perfectionist mindset, AND that...


Juneteenth | Still Breaking Chains

Knowing exactly when slavery started may be something we will never know, but research has shown that enslaved Africans arrived in North America as early as the fifteen hundreds However, history books have taught us that 1619 was the year slavery started in America. This was the year when approximately twenty Africans arrived on a ship to Jamestown and thus began the horrific reality of four hundred years of slavery. On July 2nd 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed declaring the...