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Author, Speaker, Activist, Co-Host of the Melanated Faith Podcast and long time friend of Be the Bridge, Faitth Brooks spoke with Be the Bridge Podcast host Latasha Morrison about her recently released book Remember Me Now: A Journey Back to Myself and a Love Letter to Black Women. They discussed the trope of the strong Black woman, the toll it takes being a Black woman in predominately white spaces, and even overcoming purity culture.

They reminisce about the first time they connected and they laugh about their lives as dog moms. Faitth encourages Black men to protect, advocate for, and affirm Black women. And she reminds listeners that no matter what you’ve gone through or where you’ve come from, healing and wholeness are possible.

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Host & Executive Producer – Latasha Morrison

Senior Producer – Lauren C. Brown

Producer, Editor, & Music – Travon Potts with Integrated Entertainment Studios

Assistant Producer & Transcriber – Sarah Connatser

Quotes:

“In order to move through pain, in order to move through hard times, we need to make room for softness and we need to make space for our hearts to have a safe place to land.” -Faitth Brooks

“You should be able to show up fully as yourself as a Black Christian in the space you want to be in and be accepted fully for your voice as it is without editing.” -Faitth Brooks

“Education is happening. There’s no reason for anyone to be ignorant.” -Latasha Morrison

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Resources Mentioned:

Be the Bridge Podcast YouTube

Melanated Faith Podcast

Legacy Collective

Remember Me Now by Faitth Brooks

Clip of Faitth on Good Morning America

“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Connect with Faitth Brooks:

Her Website

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Twitter

Connect with Be the Bridge:

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Connect with Latasha Morrison:

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Listen to this episode on YouTube!

Not all views expressed in this interview reflect the values and beliefs of Latasha Morrison or the Be the Bridge organization.

Narrator  

You are listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast with Latasha Morrison.

Latasha Morrison  

[intro] How are you guys doing today? It’s exciting!

Narrator  

Each week, Be the Bridge Podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture with the goal of bringing understanding.

Latasha Morrison  

[intro] …but I’m gonna do it in the spirit of love.

Narrator  

We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end.

Latasha Morrison  

Well, Be the Bridge community, we have a special treat for you today. You may recognize her voice, you may recognize her face. But some of you who listen on podcast, you won’t see her face. But if you tune into our YouTube, you may see her face. But we have none other the Faitth Brooks with us today. And so if you’re not familiar with Faitth, Faitth was at one point, she was on staff with Be the Bridge. So I’m going to tell you a little bit about who Faitth is, and we’re going to jump right in. Faitth Brooks is a writer, speaker, social worker, activist, and the co host of the podcast Melanated Faith. As an activist she engages with nonprofits to find sustainable solutions to systemic issues. In addition to acting as a strategist and consultant for brands and influencers, her nonprofit work has included serving as Director of Programs and Innovation, for the fabulous Be the Bridge, you know I had to throw that in there, and as the Director of Women’s Empowerment for Legacy Collective. Faitth is passionate about leveraging her speaking and social media platforms to enliven collective liberation centered on the sisterhood of Black women. So, Faitth, how are you doing?

Faitth Brooks  

I’m doing good!

Latasha Morrison  

Let the community hear your voice.

Faitth Brooks  

Hi community. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  

(laughter) How’s it going? So Faitth. Okay. So those of you who don’t know, Faitth has since moved to the DMV area. Tell us a little bit what has been going on in your life since moving from Atlanta to DMV. Give us an update on all the things,

Faitth Brooks  

All the things. There’s a lot of life that has happened in a year and a half or so. Maybe it’s more now. I don’t know. 

Latasha Morrison  

I couldn’t tell ya.

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah, I don’t know.

Latasha Morrison  

All these years are running together.

Faitth Brooks  

Exactly. Once we hit 2023, I’m like, I don’t know the dates anymore. (laughter) So I got married in December of 2021. That’s one of the biggest changes. And so I moved. I moved to the Maryland area in May of 2021. And I lived with my brother and his family for a while. And that was a lot of fun. And then at the end of the year, around the year, year or so of us dating, my husband proposed to me in like the most romantic way. He proposed to me at Chateau Elan, if you live in Atlanta, you know where that is.

Latasha Morrison  

Oh, yes.

Faitth Brooks  

And it was just such a beautiful weekend. He had everything planned to a tee. And if you get to know my husband one day, then you would know that he is a planner. And he loves planning big surprises. That’s just who he is. 

Latasha Morrison  

And you like big surprises. So that’s good. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

I love it. I love big surprises. He worked out. (laughter) So yeah, he planned that. And we decided to elope, and that was you know, the best decision we ever made. We were so glad we did. And then a month later, we got a puppy. And it was probably the most wild thing that we did right after being newlyweds. When I look back on it, we could have, he wanted to wait. But I was like, “No, I just have to have this dog.” I saw this girl post a picture of him and I just felt like he was meant for me. “I need him.” And so I convinced my husband to get on a plane with me and fly to Dallas to get this dog.

Latasha Morrison  

Oh my gosh. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

And we flew to Dallas; we got the dog. And Marcel was so stressed like, “How are we going to get this dog home?” And so we ended up getting medicine from the vet that was approved. And it basically knocked him out and put him to sleep for the whole plane ride. And then we brought him home.

Latasha Morrison  

So what’s the dog’s name? Tell everyone the dog’s name.

Faitth Brooks  

His name is Kobe.

Latasha Morrison  

So she’s a dog mom. Kobe.

Faitth Brooks  

I’m now a dog mom. I talked so much smack to Tasha when she got her dog.

Latasha Morrison  

Exactly! (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

“That’s crazy! Why are you doing all this stuff for this dog? What in the world? I don’t understand.” And I have to eat all my words. 

Latasha Morrison  

Now you know, right? 

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah, I know now. I have to eat all my words.

Latasha Morrison  

She sent me pictures of him with his little sweater on. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

Terrible, I’ve become them.

Latasha Morrison  

But Kobe is like 60 pounds. Right?

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah, he’s big.

Latasha Morrison  

But you’ve become one of those people.

Faitth Brooks  

I have.

Latasha Morrison  

I’m telling you. And that’s the thing. Like, I used to pick at other people and laugh at other people. And now with Challa it’s like, it’s just terrible. It’s just really terrible. Like I just, yeah. You know, he has a bed, Challa has a bed. And he sleeps in his bed. But then sometimes Challa wants to just jump in my bed. And I came out the bathroom, and I look and he was just curled up in my bed like it was his bed. I’m like, “Find your place.”

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah!

Latasha Morrison  

Like what in the world? Yeah, so dogs I’m telling you. Dogs, they bring you so much joy though. And I see what people say there. I don’t care where you go. Like if I just go outside and come back in, he’s so happy to see you.

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah!

Latasha Morrison  

And so they bring a lot of joy. So I can see how you know they are so good for like trauma and just for just healing and grief. My dog came at the right time. So I know your dog is giving you lots and lots of love. But you, I got a little dog; you got a big dog.

Faitth Brooks  

I do have a big dog. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  

There’s a big difference between little poop and big poop. How are you doing, Faitth, with that? I know you. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

There are things called these little, there’s these little scoopers. Okay, where like you don’t have to touch it. Okay?

Latasha Morrison  

Oh, I need that.

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah. And it’s like you can just clamp it with your hand, and you don’t even have to touch the poop. Yeah, I had to, once it got too big, I was like, “I can’t do it anymore. I had to let that go.”

Latasha Morrison  

Okay, yeah, leave it to Faitth and Tasha to talk about all things poop on the podcast. But you know, people want to know. And everybody’s gonna write in and say, “What are the things that you got that clamps down that you don’t have to touch it?” Because there’s something we all need to know. So. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

I’ll have to find it. Another lady from my neighborhood walked up to me and said, “What is that? Where did you get it? Because I need it.” (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  

Because it grosses me out still. So yeah, But he’s, Challa’s doing a little better with his barking. He really got bad. Like, you probably haven’t seen him, you haven’t seen him in a long time. But he got really barky for a period. So we’ve done some things to kind of curb it, training and all the things. So yeah, so Faitth wrote a book.

Faitth Brooks  

I did!

Latasha Morrison  

You wrote a whole entire book. And the book is called Remember Me Now. And just, you know, just knowing a little bit about your background, one of the things that the book talks about is the wholeness and wellness as a Black woman. We’re often praised for our strength and resilience. But, you know, you say in your book that you want people to know that the stereotype doesn’t have to define them. So, you know, we’re not always full of strength. We’re not always resilient. Tell the audience about that. Because I think a lot of times when people say that, they’re like, “Oh, my goodness, as a Black woman, you’re so strong, you’re so resilient.” Yes, that’s true. But when you’re feeling the opposite of that in times, and sometimes you don’t want to be strong. I just remember when I was going through just the death of my dad, I remember, one of my aunts saying, “Come on, be strong, be strong,” you know, when I was crying. I’m like, I don’t want to be strong. I don’t want to be strong. I want to lean into this. I need to lean in this because it’s gonna help me be better on the other side of that. So explain why you write about that in your book.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah, I think oftentimes, there’s a lot of well, you know, intention behind saying, “Oh, you know, like strong Black women,” but I think it takes like an element of our humanity away. Because we’re not strong always and we don’t have to was strong always.

Latasha Morrison  

Right, right.

Faitth Brooks  

And it doesn’t give us space or room to be able to tap into our own vulnerability. Not only that, like subliminally, for us, we can begin trying to live up to trying to be a strong Black woman, trying to live up to that trope versus giving ourselves space to heal and space to feel and let ourselves cry, like you’re talking about, when we need to let ourselves be vulnerable. Because we aren’t going to be strong all the time. And we don’t need to be. Because in order to move through pain, in order to move through hard times, we need to make room for softness and we need to make space for our hearts to have a safe place to land. And that isn’t always, the first default isn’t always strength.

Latasha Morrison  

Right, right, right. I know this is, you know, I’m gonna take us back a little bit. We met in, I want to say 2014 or 2015.

Faitth Brooks  

2015 maybe.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah, 2015. It was 2015. And we were at a conference. And a mutual friend introduced us to one another. And I just never forget, I think we were in a staircase. And I always describe what you had on, because you were walking in these big old platform shoes. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

I had 24 year old knees. Okay? These knees ain’t the same anymore. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  

Right? And people tell you that. My stepmom used to tell me she’s like, “Have fun with those shoes now cause you ain’t gonna be able to wear them later.” And I used to laugh about that. Now, but how are you doing with those shoes Faitth? (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

They’re nowhere to be found. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  

They’re retired. They’re retired. And you said, “I need to know you.” But it was something about that. You know, we both lived in Austin at the time. And you know, and people hear me talk about Austin. I just want people to know, first of all, I loved living in Austin. I really did. Even with all the challenges, Austin is a beautiful city. I love the outdoor environment. It was just very different from what I was used to. But different isn’t always bad. It was just very different. And you know, when you come from an environment that I have had come from being in Atlanta, it was a culture shock for me. And so people hear, you know, sometimes they say, “Oh, I know you didn’t like Austin.” I’m like, wait a minute, I need to be correct. Like, I did love Austin. I didn’t like all the things about Austin. But I really consider Austin like a second home. I love going back there. And I met some of the nicest people. This is where Be the Bridge started. I mean, some you know, just I was able to do and be everything God had placed in a me to do during that season. And so just saying that. So you were one of those people who you grew up in Houston. Right? And you were, we met in Austin, but you had a similar story as far as like the environments that we were in. Austin is predominately white, and so why were you so excited at that moment? (laughter) Why were you so excited in that moment, Faitth, when you saw another Brown girl, you were like, “Oh, my goodness!” (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

I could, you know, this was new for me being raised in Houston to go to Austin. I had been one of the only in many predominantly white environments. So that wasn’t new to me. However, what I was not prepared for living in South Austin was that I could go a week and maybe see one Black person or no Black people. And I was shocked. I was like, “What did I do?” (laughter) “I have made a mistake.” But, like you, I loved Austin. I met so many good friends there that I’m still friends with to this day. I feel like I was really able to create community. But it was so hard for me not having diversity. So when I saw you, I was like, “Oh my gosh, there’s another one of us in this place. I might be able to just hang on a little.”

Latasha Morrison  

Right, right. One thing about being in Austin like you would go to, I was a part of this group called The Black Austinites. And this was just a place where Black people can meet up and get to know one another. Because when there’s so few of you in the city, you would go a week like Faitth said and not see anyone. And it was that thing when you’re in a store and that awkward thing when you see another person you’re like, “Hey hey. Do you see me?” (laughter) I mean I have randomly gone up to people at the ice cream shop and you know, they’re just thinking the same thing like, “Oh my God, you live here? Where do you live?” You know?

Faitth Brooks  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  

Like one of those. If you haven’t been in that experience, like, I know, like, we’re talking from experience. But if you haven’t lived that type of experience, it’s probably hard to imagine. But just imagine, those of you who are listening, if you’re in a community, and it’s, you know, let’s say it’s all white people, I mean, excuse me, all Brown people, and there’s no other white people. And you would go weeks without seeing another white person. You can’t even imagine that. And if that was the case, and you saw another white person, after you hadn’t seen another white person in like two weeks, what would you do? You would be glad to see that person that, you know, you feel that you identify, you have some similarities with. And so that was just that story of Austin. But you talk about just that first generation of suburban Black girl growing up you spent a lot of time within predominately white spaces. Tell us a little bit about that and how that has shaped you into the person that you are today.

Faitth Brooks  

So when I was younger, my brother and I were homeschooled, which was very rare for Black kids to be homeschooled back then.

Latasha Morrison  

We do that too. Right? (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah. (laughter) There’s a lot more Black people homeschooling their kids these days. So it’s not nearly as like taboo as it was back then. But we were, you know, my grandparents were kind of nervous. My parents had already made the move to the South after my family was a part of the great migration, my great grandparents. And so for us to go back to the South, they were kind of like, “What are y’all doing?” you know, to my parents, “And you’re gonna homeschool those kids?” So we ended up, because of that though, we ended up being in a lot of predominantly white spaces. And that really impacted my identity, even though we were in Black churches and things like that, I oftentimes felt like I was trying to keep up with these white girls and how they were looked at and accepted, and they’re, you know, especially when you look at media and content that you see out there, it usually is not geared towards seeing other young Black girls. So I was really trying to find myself at that time and wondering, like, “Where do I fit in in all of this?” And so I spent my younger years trying to find my way to fit in. And often times that, I felt like, gave me a little bit of this kind of like identity crisis. And it wasn’t until I got older and I went to college and kind of had my own experiences, once again, being one of the only in the room, it gave me the courage, though, that I needed to accept myself and to love myself as I was without trying to feel like I needed to fit in with anybody. But that was a journey for me. It didn’t happen instantly. It was a journey.

Latasha Morrison  

And I know you talk about just your college experience. I’ve heard some of that story. And, you know, what advice would you give? I was just at a wedding a few weeks ago, and one of the young ladies that’s involved, that was a part of the wedding party, she goes to a PWI and she is involved in the Christian organization there. And she was just talking about how she’s the only one. And I mean, it just set off all types of alarms for me, because I was really concerned. Because I know where that can lead. I know even the trauma, you know, I’m glad she’s involved in a Christian organization. But I do understand sometimes that means losing a part of yourself. What was some of that for your story? What advice would you give to someone like her, who’s in those environments now and they can’t fully be themselves? What advice would you give? What advice would you give to someone in that environment now?

Faitth Brooks  

I would tell them it would be really good for them to find a space where they can be fully themselves and where they have other people around them that also look like them. It doesn’t mean everybody has to look like you. You lose so much of yourself when you’re the only, because whether you’re trying to or not, you’re going to be assimilating; you’re going to be letting go pieces of yourself just trying to keep up in the environment. And a lot of it is in our subconscious, but it happens. And I would say be somewhere where you can show up freely, because otherwise you’ll have to unlearn the things that you’ve done to kind of suppress your personality, suppress your voice, or even temper it to kind of fit in. And one of the things that I see people do, and I want them to kind of step out of is feeling like you have to temper your voice in order to be in these environments. You should be able to show up fully as yourself as a Black Christian in the space you want to be in and be accepted fully for your voice as it is, without editing. And there’s a lot of editing you have to do in those spaces sometimes.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah. Even as it relates to, you know, you talk about this a relation for in, you know, that’s something that you have had to pick up the pieces with. I think you mentioned being often called the white Black girl. What does that even mean? Like, you know, like, what? And I’ve heard it before, and I remember being highly offended by it. And the person thought they were giving me a compliment. And I’m, like, “That’s not a compliment.” You know? And so, you know, what are some of the things that you’ve had to deal with as it relates to, I guess you would say, shedding that? Because, like, first of all, we’re not monolithic. And so, you know, you are your own person in how you show up in these environments. But, you know, being called the white Black girl, what does that mean? And it’s not just, I mean, and I see even People of Color do that. I’ve had people in my family say that to me, because you say things a certain way or because you shop at a certain store or because you eat a certain thing. They say that. We kind of box blackness in and anything outside of that peripheral is considered other in that. How have you dealt with that?

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah, so when I was younger and I was called a Black white girl, or they would call me like an Oreo, Black on the outside, white on the inside. And I was trying to fit in so much that I was like, “Okay.” Like, I was accepting of it; I was happy about it; I was like, “I’m fitting in.” And this is what I’m talking about, you know, girl leave because you’ll have to undo what I had to undo.

Latasha Morrison  

Right, right, right.

Faitth Brooks  

You’ll have to detangle yourself from that. You know? So I had to ask myself why I wanted to be accepted. Why I was okay with myself being called a Black white girl growing up. What did that mean to me? Why was I happy about that proximity to whiteness in the way where I was trading myself, trading my my identity and all those things? So first, I had to dig deep and start there. And that happened in college. That was like where that process was really beginning for me. And the other thing I would say is that I had to really begin the journey of understanding that I was I was okay as I was as a Black girl. There were Black people who also told me you’re like a Black white girl because the way you talk. And the truth is my mom just didn’t let me talk slang. (laughter) So you know, we were gonna get in trouble if we did. So I mean, this is just kind of like what she, how she taught me how to speak. 

AD BREAK

Latasha Morrison  

If you’ve ever met Faitth’s mom, who is beautiful inside and out, you would know exactly what she’s talking about. But you know, and this is the thing, Faitth, and I know I’m trying to be careful here and how I say this, but I’m just gonna be real on this podcast, you guys. Let’s be real. When I was talking to this young lady, I wanted to say, “Get out. Like, dude. Get away. You need to go far, far away from it.” Because I can see this 10 years from now what she’s going to have to really deconstruct, untangle herself. And you can see it sometimes wearing on their, just heavy on her in a sense and on her confidence and stuff. And so the real thing I wanted to say is, “No, you need to find you a group of people, you know, that is going to accept you for who you are. This way is not the only way as it relates to Christianity. Try to find a more diverse group. And if that group is not really trying to be diverse, you have to ask why.” And I bet you, I would like to know, when you were trying to detangle all of this, did you lose a lot of friends in the midst of that?

Faitth Brooks  

Oh, yeah, I did lose friends. You know, I can tell you that through all of high school and then my early 20s, I had more white friends then I did Black friends. And, you know, now I’m in my 30s, and I have more Black friends than I do white friends. Most of those people that I would say, I considered to be super close to or the best of friends, we really aren’t friends in the same way. Those friendships are more like we’re associated or we see each other on social media, but we don’t really talk much.

Latasha Morrison  

There’s so many things that you hit on in your book. You talk about the community of sisterhood as it relates to Black women. And that’s so important in our relationships with one another and how you can find courage and freedom in that. But you also talk about the purity culture and overcoming the language of shame, the shame of your past doesn’t have to hold hostage. Like, I mean growing up in church, like when you talk about the purity culture what was that like for you?

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah, so we used to have this, you know, in church and youth group…I know like youth groups are more popular like back then and in a way they’re not as much today. But in youth group, they used to do the whole like don’t have sex before marriage. And then especially for the girls, they would do this example, where they would take a flower and have everybody take a petal off of it and pass it down the row. And then they would say… (background electronic notification noises)

Latasha Morrison  

You dinging. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

Oh, there’s a lot going on right now.

Latasha Morrison  

Just go ahead and repeat back what you were saying.

Faitth Brooks  

Okay. So they would tell you to take a flower, they would pass it down the row and everybody would pick off a petal. And at the end whoever had the flower at the end they would say, “Hold it up. What’s there? Nothing. You know why? Because they gave themself away. And so if you are just out there having sex you’re gonna have nothing to give to your husband.” Oh my God, like traumatizing.

Latasha Morrison  

But they never did this for the men, right?

Faitth Brooks  

No. I mean they might have been on the row, but they were picking the flower petal off. And anyway.

Latasha Morrison  

(laughter) That’s a whole nother podcast right there. I have. Whew. Child, we did the same thing. Go ahead.

Faitth Brooks  

Yeah, you know what I mean? I am just you know I am personally offended by that example and many others that occurred, that happened where they were essentially saying you know, like your value is, your virginity is kind of like indicative of your value as a woman and your value to someone in your value to have a good relationship one day. And that’s so unhealthy. I spent so many years trying to detangle myself from that line of thinking because I began to like idolize trying to you know, idolize marriage trying to be this perfect person when it came to being a virgin, just all that stuff. It just makes it so complicated. And not only that it was another mindset, you know thing. Because when I was one of the only in those spaces as a Black girl, I also was not being looked at as somebody to date or bring home. They were not trying to take me anywhere. It was like, “This is my friend,” or “I might flirt with you, but I could never take you home to meet my family.” And that just really did a number on my self esteem as well. And so I just think the way that we talk about these things, especially within church, has to change. Because the language of shame is not empowering. It’s actually really damaging.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah, that’s good Faitth. What is the message that you would want readers to take away from your book? What is that message that you would want? If someone is saying, “Hmm Remember Me Now, what is she trying to communicate in this book?” What is the message, the one message you would want someone to take away from?

Faitth Brooks  

I would really want people to take away from the book that healing is possible. Healing and wholeness is possible. It doesn’t matter what happens in your life where you feel like you’ve, you know, what you’ve gone through, what you’ve been through, the things that maybe have happened to you. That healing is possible. And that you can love yourself and you can find freedom. And if you feel like you’ve lost yourself, you can rebuild your life again. And I want people to feel empowered. Listening to you talk about that girl reminds me so much of myself.

Latasha Morrison  

I know.

Faitth Brooks  

And I want her to be, I want to be like, “Girl, listen. There is there is hope. There is change. You can do something different. You can write a new story. You don’t even have to detangle. Free yourself.” I hope people find confidence in themselves. And if you are a Black woman, I especially hope that you see the beauty in who you are and our culture and heritage and just how special you are. I spent so many years unsure of myself. And having that reassurance and that sense of confidence that I do now, it would have been so nice to have experienced that sooner. So I hope people find hope and peace when they read the book.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah, I was watching on the, it was on one of the social media platforms yesterday. There was this woman that was, it was kind of comedy because she had the story all wrong. But it was like she was talking. She was in a subway station. And she was like, “Things are just wild out here.” She said, “But I’m so proud of these Black men.” And then she was like, “Look at him right here. They’re standing.” Basically, someone had attacked a Black woman. And the security was there. But they were waiting for the police to get there. So they were like some security and Marta security. And so they weren’t letting him leave. And then there was like, five or six Black men in the subway station posted around, one was by the Black woman, and then there was, you know, some other ones that were posted around. And they were just standing there and they wouldn’t let him leave. And she didn’t know which one it was. She just like, “And they got all these Black men like,” but she was like, she was really happy. She was excited because she liked how the Black men were sticking up for the Black woman. And the other person who, you know, the person who had attacked her was a Black man also. And, and so then you see, she said, “Oh, here comes the police arrive.” And then everybody start clapping. And then they they go over there to make sure she’s okay. And then they kind of leave. But you see all these men, even some of the one that she thought was the perpetrator was actually one of the ones that was making sure the other guy wasn’t leaving. And I was like, wow, like the part that she took notice of was the other Black men standing up for the Black woman. And I know, in our society, there are some tensions with that. And one of the things you talked about you say, “What Black men and non Black readers can do to be better allies for Black women.” And you include it. You didn’t just say non Black readers and listeners. You said Black men. Why did you say Black men? Why did you include Black men in that?

Faitth Brooks  

Because I think that I want to encourage our brothers to pull up for us in the ways that we pull up for them. Black women, we will ride for Black men. We will stand up; we will start movements; we will protest. There is so much that we do to protect and advocate for our brothers. And sometimes you don’t get that same sense of protection and advocacy and affirmation, even if you will, from our Black brothers. And I think it is important for them to not only see us, but also give us our flowers. And I think that is just really an important part and something that I feel like is something we have to name within our community, and call our brothers in. Call them in to really see us and show up for us in the ways that, in the same ways that we show up for them.

Latasha Morrison  

The patriarchy is real, you know, especially within the Christian space, especially within Black men. And we see it even throughout the Civil Rights Movement where there was a lot of the orchestrating and the strategies that were developed by Black women like Diane Nash and many others that are not mentioned. We didn’t know about some of those women until Ava DuVernay actually did the movie Selma. And then it was like, “Oh, my goodness. Dorothy, oh she! There was a woman that also got beat up on the bridge too on Bloody Sunday?” Like, we had no idea because our stories have been hidden in many ways. And we see that in the movie, Hidden Figures, and just throughout history. But it doesn’t mean you know, it’s not necessarily always have been white men, but it also have been Black men. And so it’s like, your responsibility, you know, as a man, as a Black man to give women their credit.

Faitth Brooks  

That’s right.

Latasha Morrison  

To lift women up and to affirm that. Because, you know, without a woman you wouldn’t be here. (laughter) You have moms, you have grandmothers, you have aunties, all of those things, you’re surrounded by women. And you know, and I think you can see what she, it wasn’t so much as what had happened this woman being attacked by this man, but for these Black men to pause and like, “We not getting on any train until someone comes and arrest this guy, and we’re gonna protect this woman.” And that right there spoke a lot even watching this, it spoke a lot. And I like it even when people that are in the same work, you know, you can be excluded as a woman in this space, you can be excluded a lot or either only called on because you are a woman and you represent a certain demographic. And so we get that. But I like how you include that. And telling people to unpack their own biases, and to practice humility and to educate themselves on these systems and how sometimes these systems can pit us against each other. That’s really important, you know? And so, as we get to the end, I want to talk about this show that you were on. Good Morning America, how was that experience? Did you get to share what you wanted within the interview? I didn’t get a chance to look at the interview. But I saw you getting prepped for it. I didn’t find out about it until much later. But how was that experience? And did you get an opportunity to share what you wanted to in the interview?

Faitth Brooks  

It was amazing. It was so much fun. And it felt really cool to have my brother and my husband there with me. They are just fun guys. They’re really relaxed. So it worked out really well to have them there. And it was just such a blast. The people were so kind. And I feel like I did get to share what I wanted to. It was very quick. It was like, you know, three minutes. When I sat down, I thought I was gonna have like, just a minute to catch my breath. But I did not have that. I sat down and they said hi really quickly and they even diverted a little bit and went off script from what I thought they might ask me. And I was like, “Oh, okay, we’re changing. We’re changing chords here,” and I have to think on my feet but that was okay.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah. (laughter)

Faitth Brooks  

But it was good. It was a lot of fun. And I was really grateful to get to do that and have my family with me. So it was really special.

Latasha Morrison  

And I know you like New York. I like, that’s like one of my favorite places. So anytime there’s an excuse to go there, I love going there. So in your book, you make a dedication to your mother, your grandmother, “and the ancestors who survived so you could soar.” What does that mean for you to have words written down? I know, this is something you started with your grandmother early on. If she was here today, what would you think she would say to you?

Faitth Brooks  

Oh, man, that just makes me cry just thinking about it.

Latasha Morrison  

I know.

Faitth Brooks  

I think she’d be so proud. Yeah, she would just be so proud. I am just so grateful. It just means a lot to me, I really have been formed and loved by Black women.

Latasha Morrison  

You have.

Faitth Brooks  

And, I have been loved so well. Whether that’s been like my mom and my grandmothers, my aunties, my mom’s friends, Black women in my life that have been mentors to me, you know, there’s just been so many people. You know? People like you. People I’ve just known for such a long time that have believed in me and loved me well. And so it just, it means a lot to me to be able to have words on paper, words that honor my grandparents and their life and their legacy and my family. It’s just very special. I will always want to honor my elders and always want to honor the Black women in my life.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah, you have been surrounded by such strong, gifted, praying women. You know, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with your mom, she was my walking partner during the pandemic. And so, we got each other through the pandemic. All of us, you know. But a lot of people are not as fortunate. And you just have a beautiful tapestry of just ancestors cheering you on that I know that are very incredibly proud of you. I am proud of you. And so glad to know you. What are some things that is, you know, there’s so much happening in our world. There’s a lot of beauty happening. There’s a lot of good things happening. But there’s also this sense and I’m trying to put words to right now that I feel there’s like a disengagement, you know, in a sense. Where I feel like we’re leaning into the past a lot, where we’re allowing things from the past to continue to take root. And it’s like this disengagement. And so I know right now, that’s bringing me deep sorrow, because you see how silence can perpetuate that more and more. What are some things that are bringing you sorrow, that are causing you to lament during this time?

Faitth Brooks  

I would say some of the things that you mentioned in terms of feeling like we’re going backwards, the ways that, you know, especially if you’re doing any type of activism work or work of educating, when it comes to racism, it’s really, it was already controversial. But it’s even more controversial. I would also say, you know, I feel a concern and a sadness by the ways that I think that we aren’t seeing one another in a way that honors each other’s humanity these days.

Latasha Morrison  

Right.

Faitth Brooks  

And I think with, you know, the online climate, it feels like we’re very disconnected and disengaged from each other. And we’ve created these silos digitally and they’re so stark and extreme that it’s almost feeling harder to get together in person with people that might be different from us, simply because it’s almost like the dividing lines are there. The algorithms are going to give you content that you like, and it’s not the same as interacting in person and having to interact with somebody who might have a different thought from you or a different opinion. People are losing the art of being able to agree to disagree on things. There’s just a lot of different things happening that makes me sad. It makes me feel like, man, the next generation, we gotta, you know, hope they’re prayed up, I hope they’re ready. You know, I really believe in them. But there’s a lot that they will have to undo, unfortunately, because it seems like we’re becoming more divided.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah, it’s like the double down, you know, and the ignoring of facts. And then there’s a group that kind of sees and understands, but then they’re like, “Well, we’re just going to focus on this.” And I recall, you know, when we hear people that grew up in the 50s, in the 40s, in the 60s, or, you know, even before then, sometimes when I meet white people that grew up in those eras, they will say, you know, “I didn’t know this was happening. I had no idea this was happening.” So you’re wondering, like, okay, maybe they didn’t have TV, they didn’t have social media. But it was because there was a choice that was made to be in your homogenous groups or silence or ignore what was really happening and the pain and the marginalization of people. Where you turn the your head because you didn’t want to deal with it. And you say, “Let’s focus over here.” So if you think about all the things that were happening, as it relates to the movement of the church during those times in the 40s, the 50s, the 60s, like, but were you doing the work of justice? Were you taking care the needs of the other? Were you caring about all your neighbors? But yeah, you were you were building this amazing youth ministry. But look up the youth that were in it, and some, it’s like, I’m seeing a repeat of that, like, of that blueprint even today. All these things are happening.

Faitth Brooks  

Yup.

Latasha Morrison  

And people are like turned this other way. And it’s like, not seeing the whole landscape. And it’s not that we have to focus on one or the other. It’s like, we have to focus on the whole of what’s happening. So, yeah, that’s something I think that we continually have to be a voice for. And why King letters to, you know, the letter he wrote in the Birmingham Jail to the Christian moderate. It was like wake up. You know? The I have a dream, wake up. Everything was a wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up. And I think it’s like, we almost have to be those prophetic voices even at this time. And that makes, because we’re smarter now then we were then, I feel like, but are we? You know? So what are some things that’s bringing you hope, though? What are some things is bringing you hope during this season?

Faitth Brooks  

Well, like I mentioned before, the next generation, they bring me great hope. Because they’re very focused. They’re very engaged. And they really care about people. I mean, these are the kids that everybody got a trophy, even if their team didn’t win. You know what I’m saying? (laughter) And what I love about them is that they want everyone to be included. And I love that. I love that. I feel like they really see people. So that brings me great hope. The other thing that brings me great hope is just seeing the Black community in the arts space flourish. And there’s so many good, like so much good content, writers, producers, music, and it’s amazing to see that happening within the Black community. And it makes me really excited. Especially for like Quinta Brunson with Abbott Elementary. And yeah, it’s so funny. It’s so great and engaging. And it’s just so cool to see people win in that way.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah.

Faitth Brooks  

And I think when it comes to the whole of things going on in our country, what keeps me hopeful is that, you know, you will always have people who are speaking the truth and who are committed to justice and equity. And they won’t give up. They won’t stop speaking. And they won’t give in. They’ll keep resisting. They’ll keep pushing forward. And I think that gives me great hope because the fight is never over. Nobody’s giving up. This is just another day. It’s something different tactics, different ways, same thing happening, but you still have plenty of people who are committed to justice. And that’s all kinds of people of all different ethnicities. And, and that gives me a lot of hope.

Latasha Morrison  

Yeah, good stuff. Good stuff. Yeah, do you remember that time…you just mentioned that about all the things that’s happening in the arts, it reminded me of, I think I was being interviewed for something and you were with me. I may have been on a podcast or something. And I think someone asked me the question, and I couldn’t, I was thinking about, they asked me a question…you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

Faitth Brooks  

I think I know what you’re talking about, yeah.

Latasha Morrison  

They asked me a question about like, “Do you feel like we’re winning as a relates to TV or something like that?” I forget how the question was, (laughter) and I was like, “Yeah, you know, but I don’t watch a lot of those shows. I don’t watch a lot of shows TV. I like, watch feel good stuff. So it’s very limited.” And then I was like, “Well, no, this is still, you know, I don’t know if we’re winning in that area completely.” And you were like, “Wait a minute! We got the Black Woman Sketch Show. You got all this…” You started naming all these. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  

I was like, “Oh no. Oh no!” (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  

I was like, “Uhh I forgot about all that stuff. I’ve never watched that show.” But yeah, but there are so many things that are happening. So it is, you know, when we see things like we are so much further than what we were. And just seeing, like you said, like in the arts, in the creative space, there’s so much happening, even in the entrepreneurship. I’m seeing even here in Atlanta, Black developers. Just all kinds of things that you’re seeing taking off. So, let me tell you. Just get ready for a fight. Because let me tell you, people, we’re not going backwards. We’re not gonna go backwards. And there’s something our generation and this next generation that we’ve learned from one another and that we’ve learned from our parents. Well, no it’s not, how people say, “It’s not your grandparents Civil Rights Movement.” But it’s compounded with their wisdom and the fervor of the now generation and the hope of the next generation. And so, I think, with the combination of all those, you know, people are not going down without a fight, you know, much wiser and much more connected to one another. I was just looking at all the education that’s happening on Tik Tok. I’m not on Tik Tok a lot. But I do have an account, I’m gonna get better one day. But I was just looking at this Asian American young lady who does a lot of educating on the tension between the Black community and the Asian community. And she gives a lot of voice to understanding the anti-Blackness within the Asian American community and the history of that and where that comes from going back to 1964, when the the Civil Rights Act was passed and then the Immigration Act and how they were able to get loans but not in white communities, but they could get the loans as Asian Americans in the Black communities. And the Black people could not get the loans to have stores and stuff. But I’m just saying, like, all this education is happening. There’s no reason for anyone to be ignorant. Because there’s a lot of things, and these are things that are Google-able or are in history books, and all these things. So as we depart Faitth, you know, what is something, so we talked about the lament, the hope, what is something that’s bringing you joy in this moment right now, in this season right now?

Latasha Morrison  

So I would definitely say that something that’s bringing me joy is just enjoying my husband and my dog.

Latasha Morrison  

(laughter) Right.

Faitth Brooks  

Our little family just brings me so much joy. And just having all kinds of different adventures together. It’s been really special. And I live, like 15 minutes away from my niece and nephew. And I just love them so much. They always bring a smile to my face. And they want a dog but they can’t have one yet. So they told me that Kobe is the family dog. And I said, “Yes, Kobe’s the family dog.” So yeah. (laughter) I just feel like the simple pleasure of being able to be near my family and enjoy life together, it’s just really special. I don’t take this for granted, and we’ll never get this time back.

Latasha Morrison  

Right.

Faitth Brooks  

It’s just, you know, who knew? Who knew having a matchmaker, Autumn, cough cough.

Faitth Brooks  

I know, right? (laughter) 

Faitth Brooks  

would change my whole life and it’s been it’s been really great.

Latasha Morrison  

Yes we have a matchmaker on the Be the Bridge team that’s matching people all across the world. People probably saying, “What about, well she ain’t matched…” Nah. She ain’t ready for me. (laughter) She’s not ready for me. But I’m so grateful for you, so grateful for you voice. The book is called Remember Me Now by Faitth Brooks. We’ll have all the things in the show notes. So, Faitth, thank you so much for joining us on The Be the Bridge Podcast. It was great to see you and to hear you. Tell your your niece and nephew, I know they are like big now, what are the ages now? 

Faitth Brooks  

Kadyn just turned six and Dean is four. I’m going to his birthday party today. So yeah!

Latasha Morrison  

Okay.

Faitth Brooks  

It’s crazy.

Latasha Morrison  

Well tell Kadyn I said happy birthday. They are growing up. So you have a good one and thank you so much!

Faitth Brooks  

Thank you!

Tandria Potts  

Go to the donors table if you’d like to hear the unedited version of this podcast.

Narrator  

Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast. To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization and or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to BeTheBridge.com. Again, that’s BeTheBridge.com. If you enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded, and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the Senior Producer. And transcribed by Sarah Connatser. Please join us next time. This has been a Be the Bridge production.