This Sisters with Superpowers story is sponsored by Chevy.
Linda J. M. Holloway, Ed.D., NCC, has a unique philosophy on life that she exhibits through her daily work and has also earned her national attention. The poet, storyteller, and award-winning author has worked in higher education for several decades, publishing five children’s books that are undeniably excellent in every aspect.
Hailing from Mound Bayou, Mississippi, Holloway began her journey in academics at a young age. After serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, she retired as a colonel and began gearing up to make an impact on youth. As an education professional, she contends that learning is not learning unless you can apply it to a real-world situation(s). She practices captivating and motivating her students through case studies and a technique called cinema therapy.
What do you consider your superpowers to be as a Black woman?
As a black woman, I consider my superpowers to be an encourager and a person who shows compassion for others. Frequently in the Black community, many people are often beaten down and told, “they will never amount to anything.” This results in negative chatter that impacts them, feeling like they are not good enough both externally and internally. Thus, it is essential to lift [up] people where they are, look them straight in the eyes, and let them know that when God created them, it was no mistake and that there is greatness inside them.
Why is it essential for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
Black women understand what it means to be both Black and a woman in America. Therefore, due to her unique challenges and history of oppression, racism, and sexism, she is the best candidate to empathize and sympathize with her other brothers and sisters to ensure decisions being made politically, economically, educationally, and religiously include and not exclude the welfare of her community. Additionally, having a Black woman in leadership sends the message to other young Black girls that they can do what she is doing. She serves as a role model for future generations.
Why is it important for more experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?
Black women must lift as we climb and leave no one behind. Being able to give back is a sign that you care, know, and understand not only in your head, but your heart that you are where you are today because others reached back and helped you along this life journey. Therefore, you do this to continue building a community among young Black women. I genuinely desire my legacy to be where I reach back and educate, elevate, and empower young Black girls to be the best God Almighty has created. Additionally, I want to have courageous conversations with young Black women so they can learn from my wisdom and my mistakes, so they don’t have to make the same ones I made. What more excellent gift can an older woman give a younger woman – her knowledge and wisdom.