2.12: "Year of Yes" feat. Evette Dionne
Meet Evette Dionne, a black feminist culture writer, editor and scholar based in New York City. On today’s episode, we’re talking about Shonda Rhimes’s “Year of Yes,” a book both Evette and I both found both freeing and challenging. We dig into how we’re both wading through anxiety a la Shonda, and moments when Evette has said ‘YES!’ to herself, her writing, and her love. Speaking of love--if you’re loving this podcast, consider recommending it to your friend on the glow-up, or leave a review on iTunes. Evette covers race and feminism through lens of pop culture, and in this epi, I ask a few questions about times she said yes to her writing: an instance when she was harassed on Twitter and how she said yes to fighting back; Evette says yes to not having the answers: covering the Mike Brown verdict in the classroom: “How can I explain what happened in Ferguson to my students?”; and Evette says yes to not having the answers: covering the Mike Brown verdict in the classroom: “How can I explain what happened in Ferguson to my students?”
Evette Says Yes To Not Being Silenced: A tweet about Muhammad Ali turned into an attempted hacking of Evette’s account? Why did Evette say yes to fighting back against the trolls? “I am not the first black woman to be harassed on the internet. They’re being harassed every day…. Some of it escalates to them feeling unsafe or if they have to leave the platform. I wanted to take that power back.
Evette Says Yes To Her Love: Shonda and Oprah’s chat inspired Evette to explore black women creating their own space to have a conversation about something different—to capture a quest for partnership. “Stedman has stuck by Oprah, and supported her and her career. And them not being married doesn’t negate the importance of that relationship. Oprah is a billionaire. She’s a self-made black woman, she champions other black women, and because she isn’t married all of that’s for naught? I simply don’t agree with that.”
Evette Says Yes To Not Having The Answers: I’m a St. Louis native, born and raised between Florissant, MO and Ferguson, MO. Evette said yes to the impossible question in the wake of Mike Brown’s killing and Darren Wilson being let off. How could she explain what happened in Ferguson to her students? “All of them were crestfallen and didn’t know how to move forward. I knew I had to be there to have the conversation. I knew I needed to be there.
So, what Does Evette need to say yes to next...? The process of writing a book. “The process of writing a book. Having something I can pick up and look at and give to my niece and my mother and my grandmother is something I know I need to do but I’m terrified of doing it.”