Realizing her own turmoil could heal others has been an open healing process for actress Gabrielle Union. She’s decided to share moments that aren’t so glitz and glam as being in front of the camera. Like many of us, life has thrown her curve balls that she can’t help but laugh and throw one back. In her first book We’re Going To Need More Wine the stories were heart-felt yet humorous. She now invites us to read her sequel You Got Anything Stronger? – and as the chronicles continue, the conversation also gets deeper. She stopped by Atlanta,Ga on her book tour reconciling her most intimate thoughts since the previous read.
“Four years go by. A lot of life happens. A lot of healing happens. A lot of therapy, and I was like.. I got a lot to say,” she remarks during the first few moments of conversation with activist and close friend, Chaka Zulu, who led the evening discussion with Gabrielle.
She then went on to discuss more about her relationship turmoil with husband, Dewayne Wade in what she described as an outer body experience. She proclaimed what it was like to experience countless miscarriages while simultaneously dealing with their marital betrayal. “When you’re on this journey that already is treacherous as it is, and the waters are very rough threatening to cap size your life at any moment. My life got capsized by my partner. And it just made the journey so much harder”, she reveals.
Forgiveness was the hardest concept to overcome in her relationship, as it is for most of us. She stayed quiet and carried her baggage in silence for so long that when it came time to write this second book, she felt “pure freedom.”
Although when it came to allowing another woman to bear her first born, it seemed as if the wound didn’t reconcile. The public humiliation taunted her. “What if she doesn’t love me enough because I didn’t give birth to her.” How she overcame the trauma was surrounding herself and family with a community of loved ones that accepted them for who they are. She made way with her fertility battle, and along came Kavia James- miss #shadybaby herself. “Instead of gas lighting her, I empower her by surrounding her with blackness- our village is wide and vast. Largely made up of black women,” she says. The key here is teaching our little black girls the importance of representation. Black women are often expected to be everyone’s hero, but who will save us when we can’t dig ourselves from the holes of self doubt, anxiety, guilt, and depression? We are a minority that are under minded yet trailblazers in our industries. Skin color shouldn’t define us but it does. “I didn’t see myself reflected. My mom is very fair, as well as all of my aunts. Saweetie is my cousin. People are always like, really?” she shares during the intimate evening. Gabrielle raises Kaavia James and Zaya to be the woman she would have wanted to look up to. She’s a strong advocate for inclusion and chooses carefully who she allows in their village. Gabrielle reminds us that parenting can be a rewarding yet selfless job that we take our own journey’s to and from.
The dedication page found at the beginning of You Got Anything Stronger? reads: “For Kaavia James and Zaya. I am continually awed by the honor and responsibility of raising free Black girls. May you each embrace your vulnerability as your superpower, and may I not falter as I attempt to lead by example.”
Her vulnerability overflowed through the room. She also kept us laughing to stop us from crying as everyone in the audience could relate to traumatizing moments from their past or maybe even present. Which may have also required a drink or two to accompany the mending.
Gabrielle concluded the evening in Atlanta with three gems to adopt:
- Know that you don’t know everything.
- Forgive yourself.
- Dont ask people for advice about sh*t they’ve never been through.
For more information on You Got Anything Stronger? click here.