It was like sitting at a big dinner table with a bunch of your cousins waiting for your fabulous aunt to arrive with the goods: the good conversation, good insight, that good inspiration with a bit of history and ministry behind it.
Dressed for a lunch date, Ms. Iyanla Vanzant walked into a boardroom of journalists set up for her exclusive roundtable Q & A Press Luncheon on Wednesday, September 7th in NYC. Just in time for the Season Six premiere of Iyanla, Fix My Life, Ms. Vanzant is back again with another emotionally groundbreaking season, this time tackling the controversial topic, the Myth of the Angry Black Woman. Feeding our soul, she stayed and gave life & conversation on the history of the myth, her thoughts on the matter, and then took a few questions and photos before jetting off – to one of her next healing sessions I bet.
On the show this season, Iyanla, the Fixer welcomes a group of eight women into the “House of Healing” to help them repair some personal unhealed wounds through her ministry. In the four-part, multi-week episodic, Iyanla inspires and supports these women as they confront an array of personal issues while also tying them back to the myth; its origin, the anger associated, and how to stop it from painting black women in a negative light. Taking it a step further in the last three episodes of the show, Iyanla will also tackle the subject of how To Fix a Black Mans Heart. Bringing an additional sort of mixed emotions to the table, Iyanla opens the House to the men and dealing with the list of societal antagonistic epithets put on them way back when.
After a drama-packed ten minute exclusive preview of episode one, the room opened to questions for Ms. Vanzant as she was so kind to share.
Speaking on what the Myth of the Angry Black Women is and where the myth comes from.
The myth of the angry black women came, first of all, from society; because that’s how they shut us up, its how they diminish us, it’s how they dismiss our concerns. I think it was a way to misrepresent our passion. Historically, it was the black woman who grounded up the glass and put it in the master’s soup after her babies were sold because she had to be silent. It was the black woman who would throw herself into the bottom of the well when she was pregnant rather than bring forth another one of her master’s babies. I don’t know the exact origin of it, but I know today if somebody wants to shut you up, the first thing they’ll say is that you’re just another Angry Black Woman and then all of your concerns, questions, issues and the truth that you may have brought forth gets diminished because for some reason, we think it’s bad to be angry. Anger is the natural, organic response to feeling either powerless or that your personal, mental, emotional, or physical space has been invaded. That’s a natural, normal response.
The under-belly of anger is fear: there’s only two emotions, love and fear. If it’s not love, it’s fear. And then that fear leads to anger. So of course, if you feel powerless and invaded, you’re going to have fear. How we act that out gets labeled jealousy, disappointment, sadness, blah, blah, and for us its anger. It’s like the words violent and aggressive are used to describe black men. He’s an aggressive black man, not assertive, not confident; he’s aggressive. It has become our identity, and we don’t help ourselves by participating.
Her greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge is that people don’t know what to call me, people don’t know what I do. ‘Oh she’s a motivational speaker; she’s an inspirational speaker’; and they can’t say that she’s a minister because when doing that, in our brain and in our consciousness, that conjures up all kinds of stuff. I’m a minister and this is how I minister. I’m a priestess, I’m a medicine woman, and I don’t have a problem with it.
Her opinion on working with men vs. women.
I work with men all the time. I do a workshop for men once a year. I have male students, men write me, I love this when they say, ‘my wife makes me watch your show’. I love working with men.
Once the man show’s up, he’s going to do what he got to do. But you got to get him to show up, but once he does, he’s there, he’s in, he’s doing the work. Women show up and they’re still checking me out, ‘what am I going to do, and how am I going to do it’. He is far, far, far less resistant than the woman. So I love working with men.
Her thoughts on being fearless.
I am fearless of things that I’ve already prayed about. And if you’re going to pray, don’t fear; if you’re going to fear, don’t pray. I am fearless about that. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced real fear because I know the distinction between the naturally organic fear that comes along with my fear of not being in control; I know the distinction of what it feels like in my body. So when I’m in fear of not being in control, I can’t make this happen or that’s not going to happen, whatever, that’s when I start praying.
The greatest fear I’ve really ever had in my life is probably a fear that 90% of the human population has, and that’s fear of not being loved. The other fear that I’ve lived with, my drug of choice, was the fear of not being good enough.
Soooo good…make sure to tune in for the season six premiere of Iyanla, Fix My Life on OWN Saturday, September 10th at 9P ET.