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.






Superwoman Must Die | Slaying the Strong Black Woman Syndrome

The Black SUPERWOMAN aka the trope of the Strong Black Woman isn't going to magically disappear by closing our eyes, clicking our heels and saying POOF BE GONE. That stoic, unbendable Black woman that we're all too familiar with is not only ingrained into the soul of SOCIETY, it’s also deeply rooted in the souls of Black women across the globe, which means slaying Superwoman is going to take an aggressive approach -- it’s going to take us taking a dive in to the pain beneath her...


Don't Call Me Superwoman | Say it with Your Whole Chest

"You're out here being superwoman -- doing all the things, then when they expect it from you, you get an attitude." Malaika Simmons did not come to play games with y'all in this episode. She said if you don't want to be called superwoman, say it with your WHOLE chest... DON'T CALL ME SUPERWOMAN!! This conversation was everything I hoped it would be. Malaika took me on a journey of how she made the transition from the superwoman lifestyle, the challenges that came along with it and how she...


Uncaping, Unmasking, Unhiding the Black Female Body

When you think about uncaping, unmasking, and unhiding the Black female body, what’s the first thing that comes to mind for you? Nicole D. Vick joined me in the virtual studio today to answer that question. She and I had a “real talk” conversation about how politicized the Black female body [from our hair to our feet] is and how the Black female body is scrutinized so much that Black women often feel like they don’t own their bodies. Nicole points out how Black female bodies have been...


When Little Black Girls Are Socialized to Be Strong

Strong Black women didn't just miraculously appear on the scene. They were little Black girls who grow up to be strong Black women. In this episode of the Shades of Strong podcast we take a deep dive into how Black women are socialized to strong even before they leave their mothers' womb, thereby making them susceptible to the Black superwoman syndrome. If you've ever questioned why or how you came to be "strong", or why you behave the way you behave in certain circumstances, this episode...


A Black Girl Daring to Heal

In today's episode Lakeisha Carter takes us on a journey of how she took steps to free herself from the Superwoman Syndrome, is now striving to live an uncaped life, and how therapy is playing an integral part in her healing. She admits that living an uncaped life is challenging because she was introduced to the Superwoman mentality in childhood and kinda felt like Superwoman was her destiny, but after losing her father she knew it was time to do life differently. She reluctanlty sought...


The Power of Sista to Sista Friendships w/Lana Hunter & Melissa J. Nixon

Sis!!! You DO NOT have to be your own best friend. In this episode Natty and Shirl are joined by Lana Hunter and Melissa J. Nixon who have developed a friendship that few have the privilege of enjoying. Lana and Melissa both believe that despite how friendships ebb and flow, lasting friendships are very much possible and they are living proof of it. Today we chat it up about how they met, how long they've been friends, what keeps the friendship GROWING, and how we can ALL experience long...


Anyonita G. on Being Olivia Pope via the Superwoman Archetype Quiz

The results are in and her results reveal that she's Olivia Pope. Tune in as Anyonita G. shares her thoughts on her results from the superwoman archetype quiz. The quiz uses four popular television characters (Olivia Pope, Cookie Lyon, Annalise Keating and Cookie Lyon) to not only help you identify which archetype is most dominant in you, but also to help you to identify when and how the personality traits were birthed in you. And it doesn't just top there, the quiz also offers tips and...


Is Your Mother Wound Keeping You Separated from the Joys of Sistahood

The mother wound -- the festering wound that we MUST heal in order to fully experience the joy of being in relationship with our sistas. Sistahood is the container where we GET to surrender to deeper levels of support, deeper levels of love and accountability, but it is virtually impossible to experience such deep connections when your mother wound is lingering in the unhealed crevices of your soul. If you find yourself mistrusting other women, playing small, or unable to feel at peace and...


Black from the Past™Featuring Willie (Big Mama) Thornton

Welcome to another feature in our Black from the Past™ segment. Today's feature is Willie (Big Mama) Thornton, blues singer and song writer from Montgomery, AL. Quick Facts: Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton's career lasted from the 1940s until the 1980s Earned the name "Big Mama" at the Apollo Theatre in New York Best known for her recording of Hound Dog released in 1953 Hound Dog topped the R & B charts selling 2 million copies, but Big Mama was only paid $500 Elvis Presley recorded another...


Can the Sistahood Circle Be Unbroken?

Sistahood, the bond that keeps Black women together... …until it doesn't, right? Contrary to what mainstream media would have you believe, Black women are the original GIRLFRIENDS -- the original sistahood. Seriously, NOBODY has your back like Black women do. But the reality is, whether intentional or unintentional, Black women DO hurt Black women. …and it's time to have a conversation about it. In this episode Shirl and Natty are chatting it up about how Black women have each other's backs...


Black from the Past™ | Mary Eliza Mahoney

Welcome to our first Black from the Past™ highlight of the season where we're shining a light on Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first Black woman to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States. Quick Facts: Born in Boston, MA to freed slaves Worked as a nurse in the early 19th & 20th centuries Started working at the New England hospital for women & children as a teenager. She spent 15 years working there as a cook, a laundress, janitor and nurses aid. Attended the nursing...


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...