Chicago’s own Lena Waithe was honored at Black Girls Rock 2018 with the Shot Caller Award. Her good friend Ava Duvernay presented her with the award in a truly special moment.

Lena has been making moves in Hollywood for years and is reaping the rewards in major ways. During her acceptance speech she talked about what it meant for her to cut her off. She said, “I spoke about cutting off my hair because I was holding on to it. I was holding on to a piece of myself that felt feminine. And that piece of femininity made people feel comfortable but then I came to the realization that that’s not my job.” YESSS! Please say it again. So many of us hold on to things that are not for us just to make others happy. I’ve done it. I continue to do it. I often think of others before I think of myself. It is how I was raised. It’s in-grained in me and something I am very conscious about. From time to time I have to make a conscious effort to put me first. It is quite uncomfortable but necessary for my own self-care.

Lena went on to talk about GETTING FREE. I’ve always contended that freedom is a state of mind. The world around us is consistently striving to disenfranchise our bodies and our communities. Oh but your mind is yours. Your thoughts are yours to own, hold, and keep sacred. Who you are is a direct reflection of what you tell yourself. Here is what else Lena had to say, “Let’s get free of the idea that we can’t go after our dreams because of how we look, where we come from, who we love, or how old we are. We all have gifts and we can either lock into those gifts or act like they don’t exist. You can’t live your dream if you never go after it.”

I’m working on living my dream. Building my dream. Because as Lena said, “Black Gay Girls Rock Too”!

Check out the interview the QCrew did with Lena before she won the Emmy <3

Lena Waithe Represents at Black Girls Rock 2018

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