When I take a quick glance at my bookshelf, I’m struck by how many of my books are written by Black authors and thinkers. From the likes of Audre Lorde, Chimamanda Ngozi Adhichie, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey to bell hooks, W.E.B Du Bois, James Baldwin and Roxane Gay -- my bookshelf is rich with Black voices.
Not only my bookshelf, but my understanding of spirituality, healing, self-care and love are all also deeply impacted by Black voices and thoughts.
Self-care and self-healing as we know them today have greatly been influenced by the bold, hard work of Black people across time and across the world.
From beautiful definitions of love like those offered by author and professor bell hooks, to the fierce proclamations made by writer and civil rights activist Audre Lorde, Black writers and healers have led us on incredible healing journeys.
It’s Black writers and thinkers who have taught us that choosing love is a radical political act. It’s Black writers and thinkers who have taught us what radical self-care looks like in practice.
It was a Black writer and thinker who taught us that “a master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” and gave us a blueprint for change instead.
When I think about my own journey back home to myself, I think about how I look to the Black writers mentioned or to passionate healers in my local community for guidance. Black people and Black women in particular have taught me how to honour the divine light within me and how to set unapologetic boundaries when taking care of myself.
Black people have led by example and shown me what it’s like to heal myself, my ancestors, and my generations to come.
Hindzsight is a huge part of my self-care routine. Binge-watching his YouTube videos on the many tenets of healing and self-care have taught me a great deal about myself and the mysteries of the universe. For me, a conversation of this caliber on ‘feels’ just wouldn’t be the same without him.
5X Feels is food for thought and food for the soul. It speaks to vulnerability, our emotions, and all that is soulful. It’s an absolute honour that I get to play host for it, but it’s a conversation I wouldn’t have been able to carry had I not had the wisdom and guidance of the many Black scholars, writers, healers, thinkers, and friends that have come into my life.
And while it’s important that we recognize how instrumental Black people have been in self-care and self-healing as we know it today, it’s also important that we simply do not lift and adopt the ways in which Black folks have cared for or healed themselves. It’s important that we acknowledge the places from which the need for healing has come from for Black folks. It’s important that as we’re learning from them, we stand up with and for our Black siblings when called upon to be the ones to give.
It’s important that we consciously and intentionally pay homage to those we have read, watched, heard, or shared company with. It’s important that we honour, not only the teachings and wisdom they have given us, but the actual Black folks who have been behind them.