Amer Woods and Sheriden Chanel, aka your favorite podcast duo, are back with a continuation of their season two rollout of xoNecole's Happy Hour podcast and they aren't pulling any punches. The first episode of the year, aptly named "'The Black Effect: What Is Black Excellence?"', explores the hottest topics during hiatus, along with more serious issues such as how we define black excellence, for ourselves, and for others.
In this week's pre-game, the ladies pop it off with an empowering breakdown of the controversy surrounding Chloe Bailey's "Buss It" Challenge. The conversation excitedly and quickly turns to the gossiping (and semi-problematic) ways of Drake and other male rappers. Finally, the topic of the year: the authenticity of Hollywood's newest IT-couple, Lori Harvey and Michael B. Jordan. Not only do the ladies debate if it's real love (like Mary J. taught us) or a big PR stunt, Sheriden drops some additional government knowledge that leaves Amer asking a few questions.
But the bulk of the episode and the titular topic is about how we, as a community and as a society, define black excellence; both big picture and in the every day. In current times, we see so many examples of black people, and especially black women, showing up and taking space. Is excellence only centered around income and degrees? Is it about what you do, or who you are?
The ladies' conversation leaves you asking, what is black excellence to me? Or even better, where are you getting those influences to define black excellence? The images of black excellence we see are needed, but what about the excellence that isn't newsworthy? There's an entire sphere of 'excellence' that we, as a community, are leaving in the rearview mirror.
The episode explores the impact of social media culture on the idea of what black excellence looks and feels like; how we can quiet the noise conflating our ideas; and why 9-to-5 job shaming culture should stop immediately.
Featured image by Mecca Gamble for xoNecole