Happy New Year In many ways 2012 was the Year of the Black Woman. From Susan Rice and Kerry Washington, to Michelle Obama, Gabby Douglas, Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, we have shown up and showed out in bold, beautiful, stereo-type and odds-defying ways as only we can.

And 2013 promises to be even more extraordinary. As we prepare to ring in the New Year, our goal should not be to focus on resolutions, but evolution, and Clutch has created a list of 5 things to guide you on that journey in the coming year.

1.) Seek a Mentor
No one can go this way alone and there is nothing like having a woman who understands your professional hopes and dreams in your corner, armed with encouragement and advice. Don’t be afraid to contact someone you admire and ask for their guidance or feedback on your endeavors. Seek out those women who are where you want to be and open yourselves to learning from them.

2.) Be a Mentor
It takes a village and it’s time to pay it forward. There are many young girls who could benefit from your life experiences and expertise. Yes, yours. Becoming a guiding force in the lives of others also tends to have the unexpected, reciprocal benefit of enhancing our own lives. Take the time, or make the time, to step outside of your existence and mentor a young woman. The impact that a positive role model can have in a person’s life is often pivotal to their success.

3. Travel
It’s a small world after all. Leave America. Experience life from another cultural perspective. Create memories that will last a lifetime. If you can’t leave the United States, travel to a state that you’ve never been to before. If you can’t leave the state, leave your city; and if you can’t do that, explore a corner of your city that you’ve never ventured into. The benefit of travel can not be spoken of highly enough. New energy and new faces have the ability to create new dreams. Embrace the unexpected.

4. Me, me, me.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. Children, parents, spouses, lovers, friends and extended family are all important, but so are you. Be in love with you. Be as good to yourself as you are to everyone else. Stop waiting on permission to put yourself first.

5. Ignore Media/Studies
If we are to believe the avalanche of negative studies and media coverage, then black women are overweight, unlovable, narcissistic, multiple baby daddy, baby having nymphos who can’t get a job or keep a man, because we’re too busy being independent and angry.

Ignore them.

Black women are not science projects or social experiments. We know that we are not a monolith and we are not the bottom-feeders in the feminine ocean. We will continue to hold our heads high, embracing sisterhood, service and success.

What more would you add to this list? What do you want for black women in 2013?

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • AM

    Just wanted to wish you a FABULOUS 2013 Kirsten. Your writings on this magazine have been a pleasure to read.

  • Thumbs up for #4. It’s ok to say no, and focus on yourself. No one will think you’re stingy. They will think that you have better things in store for yourself, and might even take note of it.

  • Great list!
    I would add along to number 5 *maybe because me and the gal pals were in a sentimental mood…lol* make and create your own love stories. Don’t let the media, internet trolls, Hollywood, or whatever tell you otherwise. Let’s just kill the stereotypes of us here on out.

    • I couldn’t agree more….I am highly inspired by Clutch and the comments and fellow readers…I finally made the push to push out an original African-American fairy tale, because I think we need great love stories too.

      2013 will by MY and OUR year!!! :)

  • -A.


  • Bump Mediocrity

    I’ll add owning our femininity.

    I think black women can be victims of overcompensation: trying to be all things to everyone. Owning my womanhood and allowing my man be a man has truly shifted my perspective on feeling liberated. When men are men they are at their best.

    Too many women allow men to drive their cars, take care of their men financially, go dutch, baby men, coddle men, and allow them to make excuses for not taking ownership in their roles as provider and protector. There are way too many sisters settling for crumbs out of desperation and for the sake of not appearing alone.

    We now have a generation of men who really don’t know how to treat a woman because women are doing ALL the heavy lifting. And a lot of these so called strong black single mothers are turning their sons into their boyfriends….these “boyfriends” turn into men that don’t know the difference between a woman and his momma. It’s another reason why the dating pool for sisters is so shallow.

    Sisters. We have got to allow men to be men in 2013! You cannot lose him because if you’re paying his way you never had him. Own your femininity. Wear heels, get pretty, expect to be taken on dates, expect to be courted, take care of your body, mind and soul. More importantly nurture your man but never become his mama.

    • I can dig everything except the “wear heels” part. I would’ve added an (if you want to) next to it. Overall, well put:)

    • I love this comment “bump mediocrity”…i would just say that it’s not a matter of “allowing” the to be men, but “requiring” it from them. I think we’re too afraid to have standards and we all suffer because of it.