“African American women control over $400 billion in buying power, which is over 60% of the total African American buying power of $649 billion.”

– The Selig Center for Economic Growth

We are livid that we have to acquiesce to get a paycheck.

We are furious that we have had to give up who we are to make it in this world.

We are sick of brilliant Black women, whose womb birth—literally—the greatest country in the Free World, are still stuck in a plantation payment plan:  earning it, proving it, making it—creating someone else’s wealth.

We are irate that whites don’t have to put shackles on us any longer to keep us enslaved. The golden handcuffs of corporate America or the Ivory Tower of education serve the same function.

We are seething and fed up that we are so wounded we put ourselves in emotional bondage and self-sacrifice.

We are sick of begging and being disposable.

We are sick of having to apologize for other’s incompetence or insecurity.

We are sooooooooooooo done with being thrown under the bus.

We are done with Black women having to submit, cower, or even fight to have a place in this world.

We are furious that Black women entrepreneurs have to go to White mentors—who don’t give a crap about us—to learn but get ostracized, pigeonholed, or are positioned as a pet or as threat.

*Online marketing is supposed to be universal and colorless—well it looks awfully White to me.

(I’m just sayin’…)

Hear me out.

I am not saying White business mentors are not great at what they do.

I am not saying White business mentors are racist.

I am not even saying White business mentors are mean, bad, or malicious.


They are just White.

They don’t have a clue about what it means to be a Black Woman entrepreneur and the historical wounds that still haunt us.

And if one more person says, “we are all the same” or “race doesn’t matter”, we are going to pimp slap them across the room.

They don’t say that about gender.

They don’t say that about class.

They don’t say that about sexuality.

(The Ellen DeGeneres Show is killin’ it.)

Race—even in this Obama era—matters.

We matter.

As a group, if you took Black women out of the equation of world history, there would be no world.

(Holla if you hear me.)

We have intrinsic worth and inherit value beyond the brawn of our bodies and the fertility of our wombs.

We are more than somebody’s mother, more than somebody’s wife.

We are more than somebody’s workhorse, scapegoat, or punching bag.

We are the catalyst to world change.

We changed the world through slavery.

We changed the world through women’s rights—“I too am a woman!”

We changed the world through civil rights.

Without us, there was no movement—

Without us there is no movement.

The economy would collapse.

There would be no black church.

There would be no Obama-care.

There would be no BET.

(Sylvia Robinson made hip-hop commercial—not Kurtis Blow.)

We matter.

We have to heal our hearts so that we can heal the world.

We are the catalyst for a world that works for everyone.  That means no one is left out or behind.

*YOU are the one we have been waiting for. *

Welcome home…to yourself.

Here me when I say to you, my sister:

You matter…here.

You are needed…here.

You are wanted…here. Now.

You are respected…here.

You are loved beyond measure…here.

You are admired…here.

You are heard…here. Now.

You are seen…here.

You are valued…here.

You are embraced…here.

You are the one we’ve been waiting for.



*We are bigger than our bruises. *

Hear me.

I know. I know.

They said it couldn’t be done.

It would never happen.

Who do we think we are? (We have felt that one a lot.)

They said we were wrong.




The said we were chattel.


Something to be used, pimped, then disregarded.

They said we’d never make it.

Never last.

Never amount to anything.

Be somebody.

They said we brought it on ourselves.

We were too much.

Too loud. Too demanding. Too strong.

They said we were not enough.

Not pretty enough. Smart enough. White enough. (subtly in one way or the other)


Over time…

We believed them.

So we started to self-censor.

We stopped speaking up.

We stopped talking back.

We started to settle.

We started to make do to get by.

Now making do and making it work has become a way of life.

But deep down…

We knew in our hearts; they were wrong.

We knew in our gut that this wasn’t right.

We knew in our soul and our spirit we were more than this.

Then it happened.

A simple tremor in the Universe.

A quiet quiver in the stratosphere.

A smoldering quake in consciousness.

With nothing, from the bottom up, there came a mighty deep baritone rumbling.

Spirit deep.

But by the time it reached our lips, it had become a mighty roar!

We matter.

It’s a new day.

It’s our time.

Times have changed.

People have changed.

There is a Black man in the White House.

They said it couldn’t be done.

Hell, we said it couldn’t be done.

They were wrong.

We were wrong.

We were wrong about ourselves.

What if we are not chattel, property sold to the highest bidder for a good job, a steady paycheck, health insurance, or a tight 401k?

What if we could heal our dowry of wounds bestowed upon us by our mothers so our daughters don’t get the same inheritance, multiplied?

What if we stopped hurting ourselves with food, empty sex, and relationships where we give way too much?

What if we stopped hiding at church or at work because we are afraid to come home to an empty bed, a loveless marriage, are an abusive spouse/lover?

What if we stopped believing and behaving like we have to sacrifice to be loved, belong, or be liked?

What if we were no longer secretly afraid if we change, we would lose people, approval, acceptance, and love?

What if took ourselves inside ourselves and healed our own hearts so we could claim our rightful place at the top?

What if we lived every aspect of our lives like we mattered…to ourselves?

(Take a moment right now, and inhale deeply 5 times. Close you eyes. Put you hand over your heart and say to you, as a sacred prayer, “I Matter. To Me.” Exhale. Repeat until you believe it. Repeat until you are moved to tears by how magnificent you are and all ways have been. Open your eyes. You are your own best thing. Go on. Do it now. I will wait for you…)

Walk with me for a minute and just imagine…

…living a life where the history of hurt no longer hinders us…

What if we loved, honored, and respected the God in us, as us?

What if we emancipated ourselves—emotionally, mentally, and financially?

What if we set our own selves free—so we NEVER have to slave again?

Dr. Venus Opal Reese is a staggeringly effective Business Mentor for Black Women, whose in the business of teaching purpose-driven high achieving sisters (who’ve walked through life’s fire) how to create, grow, or leverage a 6 or 7 figure business that is rooted in their worth. Because she too has walk through life’s fire—and turned it into a proven business model that generates millions for my clients—she knows what it takes to produce unprecedented results. Visit http://www.defyimpossible.com/six-figure-secrets-for-sisters today for your free training and more information.

Also On Black America Web:

10 thoughts on “The ‘We Matter’ Manifesto

  1. Yolanda Penn on said:

    Amen Amen Amen I hear and I’m w you….and I am ready to make a great difference in my community…..and met importantly in my life….I will be visiting our website in th morning

  2. 55th st silverbacks on said:


  3. Thank you for such a bold stand for Black woman! And I proud to be one who is a part of the We Matter Movement! I love this work and what you are doing for Sisters and I am proud to a sister on a mission toward emancipation!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Everything, and I mean everything you’ve written here I chronicle in my e book Red-White-Poor.com, as we I talk about how are so dependent upon White folks for everything, whether it be the Job, the Mortgage, the car, business financing, etc., and, in turned, are blamed for our own lack of education, stability, accused of not taking advantage of opportunities, when society-at-large just isn’t hiring Blacks these days!

    After 9/11, I started my own 501c3 in 2003, told the inner-city community that “knowledge is Power” and how we should “pool” our resources if we are to be successful independent entrepreneurs. Since I have procurement contract writing knowledge, we could qualify for Minority Women Business Contracts. Instead of embracing the ideal that we “use what we got, to get to where we need to be” it was just the opposite, (i.e., who the F**k does she think she is)!

    Unfortunately the indoctrination of the Willie Lynch letter is firmly entrenched throughout our communities where constituents spend Billions of $$ on “needless” things just to compensate for everything else that’s lacking inside. This 3rd Generation of Poverty to remain the permanent underclass… is there really “no hope” for them?

    We always talk about how we need to focus on the children, because they are the future, yet, when they grow up, the most they can look forward to is hopefully graduating from High School w/o a criminal record so they can qualify for Financial-Aid.

    So, how do we raise independent children who won’t depend on Civil Service jobs to employ them, and idolizing Gansta Rap and B-Ball players as the only way out of the Ghetto?

    Red-White-Poor.com – where I will use the money raised for a 2nd business that I’ve already patented, but still working on the prototype. And when it becomes “mainstream” my first hiring preference will be young Black Men!

  5. All I can say is thank you. I have come to realize that as a Black Woman, my self-esteem is in my own hand and I can pretty much expect that others, especially black men, white and spanish born women, will do anything to convince a sista that she is not worthy of anything good. That she is not (fill in the blacks). I say, I am the best thing that ever happened to all of them. The depiction that we are not gracious and loving is so contrary to the facts. Where would black men be if we hadn’t loved them (BWW) until they succeeded. BWW means “Before White Woman.” Our support has been the guiding force behind black men’s successes. White women, we raised your babies, sexed your men, cleaned your house and on and on. Black men, I am so sorry you were bought for some straight hair and skin not like yours. That’s all they have on us and we have so much on them, including those of us with straight hair and light skin. Oh, white women have smarter men then black women. Not “much” success for black men outside of sports. White men knew that in order to be in charge, you have to elevate everything about yourself, that includes the race of your women and children. Brothers did the opposite, they elevated what should be the side piece. That’s because they think success is getting all the sloppy seconds (not just sex, life in general) of the white man.

    • I feel you Deb. My favorite line above is this, “my self-esteem is in my own hands.’ That is sooooooooooo powerful Deb!! That is the access to freedom–emotional, mental and financial! Bravo!!

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