Archives for April 2021

White Power Love

My photographer/Creative Director quit on me 2 business days before my tech startup photoshoot for & by Black Women.

He was a Black Man I considered a friend.
In his defense, it’s clear to me now he was in WAY over his head & he had weak boundaries. As a creative I have BIG ideas. As a businesswoman I am willing to pay to have those ideas become reality. So instead of him saying “no” he kept agreeing. Had he once said, “no, I can’t do that,” we could have talked it through.

Instead, he quit, turned me into the enemy, & withdrew his entire team.

In the past, his actions would have been cause for upset or panic. I didn’t do either.

Instead, I prayed.

I prayed for guidance & clear instruction on what to do. I had 10 of the 65 Black Women Content Creators flying in (ON THEIR OWN DIME!!!) to be a part of this historic event. I was unwilling to have them be effected by “ol’ boy” taking his marbles & running home. So I took it to God.

God told me 3 times to call my friend Damien Noble Andrews, the Photographer & Creative Director of the VenusOpal brand. Damien’s mom recently transitioned & his wife has been ill.

He has a young son.
He also lives out of state.
So I didn’t want to reach out to him, but there was a more honest reason for not wanting to hire Damien for this project.

Damien is White.

I love being a Black Woman.
You know this.
The world knows this.

I have an intentional practice to hire & employ Black People. Keep in mind my teams are VERY diverse, but it matters to me that I walk my talk. I’m all about keeping Black money circulating in our communities as long as possible by purposely seeking out Black Business FIRST, in support of our economic emancipation.

So I hired a Black Man for this project & he quit at the last minute. I didn’t have the bandwidth to do anything BUT go into emergency mode.

Translation: I called my friends.

It was either cancel or let myself be supported by WHOMEVER God sent!🤣🤣🤣

Long story short, Damien, as an act of love, supported AND empowered my commitment to empower Black Women. He called in some of HIS FRIENDS, to help me have INCREDIBLE marketing collateral for this project.

Guess what? They were White.

I know you may be sick of hearing me say “Black” this or “White” that. I hear you. Trust me: I get sick of having to say it, but I want to make some very important points later so I need to disclose the race of the players now.

Bear with me.

The day was magical. The looks & photos are exquisite. The content creator interviews, which will be the free content on the app to show off the technology before a viewer chooses to subscribe, are tremendous!!

However, here are the 3 expansions that turned this breakdown into a breakthrough that opened me to a new dimension.

1. Flexibility creates opportunity. Damien was the person who came up with the idea to feature the 10 Content Creators stories on the app. I would NEVER have thought of that. Had I dug my heels in to find another “Black Photographer”(which Damien tried to find last minute!!!) we would not have amazing content to launch right out the gate!!!

2. When someone or something leaves, let them. God has something SO much better. My stylist for this shoot connected me to a Black fashion designer who gave me 20% off of her dresses AND wants to collaborate with me for this & other projects. The team I had before could NEVER have made this collaboration possible. Everything about what got created in 2 business days FAR EXCEEDS what I thought I was going to get from the previous team.

My point: Let go & let God.

3. Expand what an “ally” looks like. When George Floyd was publicly executed last year, it changed me. I turned all my platforms over to stopping the police from killing us. Right after Daunte Wright was mistakenly murdered by a police officer who thought she was using her taser instead of her gun, I did a video to my White Allies to do something.

After we had finished the shoot, Damien & I debriefed as we walked Happy. I said to him thank you, but it didn’t feel like enough.

So I tried again & said, “My words are too small to express the deeply level of gratitude for all you have done for me.

You have not just supported me – you have empowered 10 other Black Women to be heard in the world as well as every Black Woman who sees the marketing & subscribes to this app.

I thank you for being both my personal friend but also my ally in fostering a world were being Black is not a death sentence or a badge of disgrace & servitude.”

Damien’s eyes filled with tears.

Then he said something that changed me at my core.

Damien said, “Thanks for seeing all of that. Very few people do. There are us, some of us White people, who really are trying.”

My heart broke wide open.

In my pain, I can see now that I hadn’t accounted for how support, in terms of social change, looks MANY different ways. Some White people DID March with us last summer, in the 60s, and during the Civil War. While other White & Jewish people let us stay in their homes as an essential part of the success of the Underground Railroad.

Some allies don’t march.

They write anonymous checks.
Or they amplify Black Voices.
Or they lobby Congress.
Or they make sure their children play with children of different races.

My point is this: my personal story of healing & success INCLUDES the love, support, encouragement, access, & visibility given to me by MANY White People.

That doesn’t mean I don’t love my race or my people. It doesn’t mean my people haven’t suffered greatly at the hand of white privilege, White power, & White Supremacy – & it doesn’t mean that White people are saints & will sacrifice their privilege on my behalf.

ALL of that hate happened & it still effects us to this day.

What I am saying as I heal history in my own heart, I choose to acknowledge this truth: I have known amazing love from White people my entire life. Be it through churches, school teachers, classmates, or business mentors & peers. I would not be who I am without the White people in my life who let me rage out loud & NEVER tried to correct me or silence me.

They just loved me.

I can’t call all of their names, but I say thank you. Thank you for leveraging your privilege in service of justice.

Thank you for loving on me in my rage & never invalidating it, even when I raged at you.

Thank you for supporting my commitment to empowering Black Women instead of making me feel like I was being racist.

Also, thank you for being silent Warriors in service of equality & justice for all.

Simply put – thank you for leveraging your White power as an act of love.

I see you.
I hear your support.
I feel your love.

Thank you for being my friend.

I love you.
-Dr. Venus

Black Murder Porn.

She had a knife.

That will be their justification for shooting 16 years young Ma’Khia Bryant 4 times in the back. She was shot by a police officer in Ohio within minutes of the Chauvin guilty verdict in Minnesota.

Ma’Khia was standing still when the cop shot her.

Yes, she had lunged at the girl in pink when the police arrived. The shooting happened AFTER the girl in pink was on the ground. The police said three times to drop the knife. She did not. She was standing still.

As a person who has suffered trauma, I can understand why she couldn’t drop the knife. Just being yelled at in a heightened situation can trigger freeze, flee or fight.

The police didn’t opt to try to deescalate the moment. He just shot her.

They will paint her as a villain; a violent out of control adult (not a child or teenager) savage that NEEDED to be shot to save other lives.

I won’t look at the video. I’m sick of black trauma porn upping network ratings.

White people get killed by the police, but it NEVER makes the news. Why not?

Because the news sell more papers, ads, and downloads by turning our deaths into currency.

They sell ink with Black blood.

A White cop killing a white body doesn’t open the historical wound of outrage of black bodies being murdered by the police.

Question: How come we see SO LITTLE coverage for law reform?

The Democrats’ George Floyd Justice In Policing Act was passed for the second time in March but has been stalled in the Senate. Where is the front page news about the Act?

This Bill is something that would STOP police from killing BLACK PEOPLE!!!! Then why isn’t it in heavy rotation as Ma’Khia’s brightly colored tennis shoes, twitching after she was shot in the back four times?


Because social change doesn’t drive ratings. Social outrage does.

Let me say this REAL LOUD for the people in the back, committed to hijackings my words:

— I’m VERY clear the Police kill white people — and according to some statistics, on average, more. While that’s accurate, it’s not true. Whites make up 64% of America; Blacks 14%. Cops kill more Whites because there are more Whites. But if we level the field, Blacks are killed 5 time times as often as Whites. And while it’s tragic (ANYONE is killed by the police is), that’s not my point.
— And I’m heartbroken by the many Black and Brown people who die at the end of a police officer’s gun. That’s not my point.
— I am also very relieved about Chauvin’s guilty verdict. That’s not my point.
— I’m clear Black people kill Black people. Again, not my point or what I am addressing.

What I am pointing to is the historical practice of displaying the Black Body in pain as entertainment.

From public lynchings to burnings to cutting off body parts after a tar and feathering of a Black Body, which White children took home as keepsakes, SHOWING the murders of Black people is designed to terrify us into abject hopelessness.

Simply put: the endless media cycle of police officers murdering Black people does two things: 1) reiterates White Power’s ability to take Black Life; and 2) keeps us in our feelings instead of focusing on something that WILL make a difference: like getting on the phones to the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act.

When Chauvin’s guilty verdict was announced, I could not celebrate. Not because I didn’t want to. This is the first time in American history a police officer has been found guilty of murder of a Black person.

I couldn’t celebrate this historic victory. Here’s why. Chauvin’s sentencing won’t happen for 8-weeks, which is after the world has been pacified.

And because the Judge, who renders the sentence, stated that Maxine Waters’ comments could be grounds to appeal.

I’ve lived too much life to ignore the obvious.

So I’m going to continue to pray, and focus on getting the George Floyd Bill passed. If you were thankful for the guilty verdict I encourage you to turn your celebration into action by calling your state senator and encouraging him or her to pass this Bill.

I love you.
Dr. Venus

God’s Provision.

I didn’t know it would be like this…
God has been with me since BEFORE I was on the streets. I remember my stomach hurting because I was so hungry.

I prayed.

Immediately a book of Food Stamps “happened” to blow down the street right into my leg. There were enough food stamps/vouchers in the book to eat for a month.

God has ALWAYS provided for me.

I never know how God will provide, but it’s always in a way I could NEVER pray for. And bigger than my mind can initially receive.

Ain’t nothing changed.

As I witness and experience how George Floyd’s character is murdered; when I feel the pain of Daunte Wright calling his mother to tell her he is afraid he is about to die; when I weep for how the media paints DMX as a trifflin’ drug user not a human in pain, I reach for God. I reach for guidance, hope, provision.

It’s almost like being on the streets again.

The hopeless feeling of powerlessness washes over me like titanic waves. My chest aches and I have asthma attacks. I feel like there’s nothing I can do that will make any difference.

Then I pray.

It’s the same prayer I prayed on Monument Street, sitting in urine and beer. Simple and direct: God, please help me. It’s almost like I have to wear myself out to get to the rock bottom of my willpower to reach for God.

The answer this time: take Happy for his morning walk.

Happy is a dog magnet. Dogs come up to Happy to say hi, and drag their humans with them. Well yesterday morning after grieving the loss of Daunte’s life due to a taser being mistaken for a gun (#gurrl I did an entire video about it). I was still in my feelings as the two dogs came to say hi to Happy.

The two dogs were attached to a human who works for iHeart Media, which owns ALL the billboard space, placement on food shelves, and media in gas stations you see all over America. The human attached to the two dogs is the person who digs through the data to make sure product gets in front of the right people so people buy.

I recently put out a call for new hires. One hire was a paid traffic expert who was proven. This brilliant Black Man, who loves his momma, exceeds anything I could have prayed.

I’m launching my new tech startup for Black Women in months. We are in production now. My intention is to presale 20k app annual subscriptions at $50 each which grosses $1 million BEFORE we launch.

Having someone who can do the analytics so we target the right group based on algorithms is an answered prayer.

It’s provision.
It’s purpose manifesting.
It’s peace.

And it’s COMPLETELY God’s will.

I didn’t know birthing billionaires would require the deepest level of trust, surrender and allowing I have EVER had to do in my entire life. But it does. And I have to go back through my survival to surrender over and over, deeper and deeper.

God gave me the vision of birthing 100 Billionaire Black Women. It’s so God, it’s staggering. But the point of “billionaire” is not the money. Billionaire is ALL ABOUT creating the structures and channels to build infrastructure for generational freedom and wealth so we are not living at the mercy of White Supremacy anymore.

So as I grieve, I plan.
I build.
I trust.
I allow.
I surrender.

And I take Happy for his walks.

God is in control.

Growing In God.

I sit.

I marvel at growing in God.

From death comes new life.
New thoughts.
New ideas.
New mercies.

I can feel me being born again.

Cuddling in the rest of God.
Spiraling upward in joy and splendor.

I’m breaking new ground.
Birthing 100 Billionaire Black Women through technology and content has broken EVERY chain that kept me tethered to this flesh.
This body.
These bones.

When God calls, I answer with all that I am.

So now we build.
We build a cathedral.
It rivals the majesty of the Ark.

Noah built for 120 years.
We will transform bloodlines
in less than 5.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

So we begin.

New teams.
New look.
National press.

And we watch God’s hand open doors no man can shut.

It’s time to build.
Turn words into performative acts that heal 400 years of oppression that make my people vulnerable to COVID.
The Cops.
Generational poverty.

Create miracles from loss.
Rest in power Tory.
Rest in peace Crystal.

May God hold you close… for eternity…

I have work to do…
God’s work.
My life’s work.

I grow in God.

Title: Growing In God
By: Dr. Venus Opal Reese

George Floyd Murder Trial….I can’t watch…

I keep trying to look at George Floyd’s trial.

But I can’t.

I end up feeling like George is on trial, not Derek Chauvin. Derek Chauvin is the policeman who pinned George to Minneapolis concrete for 9 minutes and 49 seconds–with his knee on George’s neck.

Each bit of news about the trial that finds its way into my consciousness reveals more and more of the viciousness of White hate.
Even some White people tried to stop Derek.

Derek misrepresented when and how much force he was using to “subdue” George.

He defended his actions to a bystander.

His partners turned off their body cameras.

You get the point.

It was this malicious and vicious display of White Supremacy that changed the course of my life.

I had never considered myself a “political” person. In all honesty, up until George, I only voted to keep my Nanna off my back. I had not thought deeply about White Supremacy. I thought racism, bigotry, prejudice, and White Supremacy were pretty much the same thing.

I never watched the tape.

I couldn’t then. I can’t now.

But it was the circulation of video and the photos of Derek’s defiant and bold stare into the camera that let me know I had been sleepwalking. I realized how the filming of a Black Man being publicly executed in front of a worldwide audience, while the murderer fronting as a “public servant” was the enactment of White power over Black Lives.

Black labor matters to White hate. Not Black lives.

I had to confront in VERY TANGIBLE ways how powerless Black People are in this country. Here’s why. It’s BECAUSE the institutions that are positioned to help us are really in place to extract our:
labor (prison)
knowledge (education)
creativity (entertainment)
energy (sports)
fertility (slavery)
from our bodies–dead or alive.

Black lives are not “live” in the mind of White Hate.

White Supremacy does not regard Black lives or Black votes as “real.”

For the Dereks in the world, Black are animals, like horses or cattle, without consciousness or cognition. If we were real people to White hate, our votes would count, our voices would be heard and yes, our lives would matter.

So I can’t watch the trial.

I have a sinking feeling White Supremacy power structures will find or make a way to get Derek and the other policemen off.

You know how they do:
1. Criminalize the victim.
2. Sympathize with the murderer.
3. Find a legal loophole or create one.
4. Throw money at it.
5. Apologize sincerely.
6. Blame us for not “getting over it.”
7. Keep killing us.
So instead of dancing that dance with them again like we have since 1619, I’m giving my life to birthing Black Women Billionaires. We’re building infrastructure, distribution, and an ecosystem so we no longer have to dance.

Next week we start production.

I’ll keep you posted.

I love you,
Dr. Venus