There ARE Black Women in Japan
Last weekend was the first annual Black Women in Japan Conference. And it was more than I ever expected, because I didn't know what to expect.
How did I end up there?
Seeing as before this event I knew 3 black women living in Japan, period. At most I have known 6 total at the same time...so, not because of my skills in networking. The BWIJ group founder's PhD mentor is an old friend of mine that happens to know EVERYONE, and she pointed me in the direction the event.
As I described in play-by-play detail in my last post, I'm terribly shy. I can ignore it, if my interaction with another human being could be helpful to either party, but I'm a bubble of, literally, shaking anxiety in group discussions with new people. So, the word 'workshops' terrified me. But I reminded myself that I need to network, or this website is just an expensive journal, so I jumped on board.
I had no idea what workshop would be the least talky, personally exposing, and/or awkward for me. With intimidating names like "Tapping into Natural African Spirituality and Remedies" and ""Feel di Riddim" Caribbean Afro-Fusion Dance", I was in a cold sweat choosing.
Needless to say, my two left feet were NO where near any fusion dancing. So, I chose a black hair maintenance intro, voice actor how to, African spirituality intro, and creative designers showcase. All were superb with some very deep and insightful discussions.
Seeing so many black women entrepreneurs, the fusions of culture and creativity, and meeting so many self-aware and culturally aware world travelers that connect on the intersection of feminism, spiritual awareness, and the understanding of the melanin-endowed struggle was so energizing.
I am so honored to have met everyone there, and hope some deep friendships and creative collaborative efforts will grow from it.
I look forward to next year!