About Us

The Happy Black Girl 

def jam pics 004

Yes. We are real.

No. Not in a unicorns and four leaf clovers kinda way.

Wait, I’ve gotten too far ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.

For years I’ve battled the stigma of being a happy sista. Now you might not think there’s a stigma attached to it, but I’m here to tell you different. People (including our own) give happy  sistas the once over often. I’ve been asked by several people, both male and female if I’m for real. In my youth I answered, in adulthood, I hit them folks with the Kanye shrug and let em find out for themselves. It is constant struggle proving to others and then yourself that being positive does not equal being weak or naive. To the contrary. I live this way because of, not in spite of all those comments. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t sayin I don’t have to act up from time to time, who doesn’t? I’m merely saying that most mornings you will find me happy to be alive and not being ashamed to admit it to anyone within earshot. But sometimes, that was a lonely planet to live on.

Then one day Starr Lopez happened into my life. We met in 2007 at the suggestion of mutual friend, Armen Nalbandian. We’ve been inseparable ever since. She truly is my HBG Soulmate.  While in the company of others it is often assumed that we’ve been friends since childhood. We finish one another’s sentences, carry Waxpoetics in our hand bags, sing the same songs as if on cue, appreciate shared silence and most importantly we support one another in all that we do! That’s how this all started, actually.

In 2009 I stumbled upon something amazing. Writer Sista Toldja (Jamilah Lemieux) had come up with a concept titled Happy Black Girl Day. I could hardly contain myself. There it was for all the world to see, someone had created something about black women that I could finally relate to. I wanted to share it on the book, but I needed an image to go with the content so I quickly decided to do a Google Image search. What I found was a smackerel of images and half a dozen crudely designed versions of caricatures and stereotypes. It was so unbelievably bad that an idea was born. Neither of us knew anything about the blogosphere so we just sat on everything. Until now…

We feel charged to do this now because the time is ripe! We’ve each had lifestyle changes that have allowed us to reflect on what we’ve accomplished thus far in our lives. That personal aesthetic that makes folks feel both comfortable and proud to be a part of, has long been absent in both our work experiences and sometimes even in the circles we roll in. It’s hard to find a piece of yourself when you feel invisible. We’ve found ourselves in one another and we’ve blossomed because of it. We want others to understand they too can have that, even if for a moment, it’s possible. We two are proof!

We still don’t know much about blogs, but we do know we’re still painfully underrepresented and want to offer an alternative. So here we are.

HBG YALL

Devoya Mayo, Starr Lopez and Valerie Scott are The Happy Black Girls. Three Soul Sisters tired of the marginal representation of well- rounded sisters everywhere.

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The Happy Black Girl: An Arts & Culture Website dedicated to seeking, creating and sharing new ways to celebrate the happy.

The Happy Black Girl does not seek to devalue the many facets of cultural representation, only to offer an alternative. The Happy Black Girl promise includes creating & sharing ideas, information, stories and projects that inspire and encourage action. 

Enjoy~

 

26 thoughts on “About Us

  1. norla kitch says:

    Hello Devoya
    I came across your card last week – you were here for Sky’s birthday party, and it was so nice to have you here. I hope you are having a lovely spring. Certainly can’t beat the weather this week!
    I a looking forward to a weekend with knitting friends, away from home, so off to the cottage choose a project or two to take along. Email, call or text(559 801 8230) sometime. This is outdoor eating time, we should throw something together soon. Norla

    Reply
  2. Shana Burton says:

    What a lovely site and concept! Thanks for existing 🙂

    Reply
  3. Bridgette says:

    Hi Starr! You gave me your card when you visited Scripps. I’m so glad I finally got the time to check out your website. There totally should be an equivalent website for happy Latinas like me, LOL!

    Reply
    1. Supastarr says:

      Hi Bridgette! Such a pleasure meeting you on my niece’s college visit. The campus tour was exceptional, and my niece is more thrilled than ever to begin applying for college! Thank you for visiting our site and sharing the love. As we’re quickly discovering, HBG stands for all shades of happy . . . including Happy Brown Girls 🙂 You can peep one of our Happy Brown Girl features here, D is for Dope: http://thehappyblackgirl.com/2014/03/10/fly-d-i-y-baby-creations-w-lori-montano/

      Here’s to staying connected,
      Starr*

      Reply
  4. Ronda Kelley says:

    Love love love the comments and love the fact that there are sistahs in the valley who are local and happy! Continue to b well. It was such a pleasure to have met you at the BWOPA event Devoya! What a pleasure. 🙂

    Reply
    1. devoya says:

      so glad i had the pleasure of your company yesterday! thank you for taking time to visit the site too! come back often and i’ll be in touch soon. 🙂

      Reply
  5. PAT B says:

    I have been a HBG most of my life as well, and in my youth I never really fit in because it was much “cooler” to choose a side, or be part of a group…Awkward. As I matured into the lovely butter-really fly Lady that I am now, several old friends have admitted that even though it was easier to criticize or ignore me back in the day, they have grown to admire my attitude. I am now the uninhibited Happy Black Girl that is free to offer a little bit of “My Happy” to others daily.

    Reply
    1. devoya says:

      butter-really fly lady!!!!!!!!!!!
      yes! thank you for not only owning your hbg self but for sharing this message with us!

      Reply
  6. Cheran Cordell says:

    So proud of you Starr!! This is wonderful!! Way to go little sis!!

    Reply
  7. Shannon says:

    This. Is. Awesome. I am sorry it took me so long to realize this was something totally amazing you ladies have made. I applaud you and thank you. I heart the HBGs and I am always inspired by Ms. Mayo’s shining light.

    Reply
  8. Mobolaji Olambiwonnu says:

    Loved seeing that you exist. It is very rare to hear anyone put happy together with Black girl, so I am happy too! I want to start the Happy Black Man blog since we aren’t supposed to be happy either (smile).

    Reply
    1. admin says:

      Sometimes you can just feel that someone understands EXACTLY what you mean. Today you’re that person! We appreciate you. When you start that blog holla!!! 🙂

      Reply
  9. ashlei mayadia says:

    Whoooo Hooooo!!! :> I did a search of ‘black happy’ in images and after scrolling dooooooooown a bit and saw the picture of the Afro Cafe…then I saw the pic was on happyblackgirl.com??? YES! YES! YES! :> I’ve only read the Afro Cafe post and your About Us, but I gotta tell ya — so glad I found this site. I’m a fellow happy black girl and am ready engage – I’m already beamed up ;>

    Reply
    1. admin says:

      Well let us be gracious and say Heeeyyy Ms Mayadia! Welcome along. We’re sooo very glad you found us! We’re ready for you girl!

      Reply
  10. Benita says:

    The two of you are truly kindred spirits! Your inspiring perspectives are so welcoming and refreshing. Love your website – keep doing what brings joy to your heart!

    Reply
    1. admin says:

      We keep looking back this compliment and gushing. Fareals:) Thank you Benita!

      Reply
  11. MMRichie says:

    I LOVE HBG “) Being Black not your decision, being a Girl not your decision, but being HAPPY is your decision. You have made a GREAT choice ladies. Keep up the good works.
    ***Inspiring

    Reply
    1. admin says:

      Thank you Ms Richie! We appreciate you taking the time to check out the site and for the feedback. You make sure to come back and visit us often and keep the happy circulatin’ girl!!!

      Reply
  12. admin says:

    Thank you ladies for sharing your kind words about the site thus far. We’re all dedicated to learning, sharing and building. Just give us a little time and we promise to make you proud. Your support deserves nothing less.- devoya

    Reply
  13. judge cordell/mom says:

    just read “about us” and then took a stroll through the HBG website. i’m tremendously impressed with what you two have already accomplished with this website. HBG is creative, positive, informative, and energizing. this is a BIG DEAL. congratulations! the world needs more HBG’s!

    Reply
  14. JOY GRAVES says:

    THANK YOU FOR BRINGING HBG TOO LIFE…I LOOKFORARD TOO ALL IT HAS TOO OFFER…. IWANT TO ENBRACE MY HBG….. THANK U BOTH….

    Reply
    1. admin says:

      Girl thank you for enjoying it enough to let us know!

      Reply

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