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Publisher's Summary

What does it mean to live in your skin as a Black woman in 2021? There is no one answer - but in this powerful, spellbinding audio special, there are 11, told by women ranging in age from 17 to 91. Together, they share stories about love, work, microaggressions, mothering - about the way the world breaks your heart and how other Black women heal it. Featuring writer Rebecca Carroll, poet Jasmine Mans, music producer Drew Dixon, dancer Carmen de Lavallade, playwright Lynn Nottage, comedian Franchesca Ramsay, podcast host CC Paschal, author and playwright Pearl Cleage, teen advocate Ve’ondre Mitchell, activist/student Treasure Brooks, and TV host Bevy Smith.

©2021 F Collective (P)2021 AO Media LLC

About the Executive Producer

Kamilah Forbes is an award-winning director and producer. She serves as the Executive Producer for the World Famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, and directed HBO’s 2020 production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. In her diverse body of work, Ms. Forbes is noted for having a strong commitment to the development of creative works by, for, and about the hip-hop generation.

Executive Producer and Curator

Rebecca Carroll is a writer, cultural critic, and the author of several books about race in America, including Sugar in the Raw and her critically acclaimed new memoir, Surviving the White Gaze. She is the host and creator of the podcasts Come Through with Rebecca Carroll, and Billie Was a Black Woman.

Creative Producer

Noleca Radway is the founder of Quarks, a family production company specializing in audio and visual arts though a Black Queer lens. Their work includes Raising Rebels, HBO’s Between the World and Me podcast and POV/American Documentary’s Otherly Series. Noleca specializes in amplifying multiple voices and mediums to tell a story and create impact.

About the Contributor

Jasmine Mans is a queer Black American slam poet and performance artist from Newark, New Jersey; her book, Black Girl, Call Home was named one of Oprah Magazine’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books. Her work has gone viral many times over on YouTube, and she has opened packed shows for Mos Def, Janelle Monae, and Goapele.

About the Contributor

Treasure Brooks is a 22 year-old activist, cultural critic, film student at Harvard University and founding member of The Meteor. Her work consists of opinion writing, multimedia art and political organizing.

About the Contributor

Drew Dixon is an activist and record producer ho has helped to create iconic hit records with artists like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, Q-Tip, Kanye West, John Legend, Method Man, and Mary J. Blige. She is currently writing a memoir for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is the founder of C.L.A.I.M., an independent record label.

About the Contributor

CC Paschal is an acclaimed audio journalist creating podcasts about art, culture and politics. She is currently developing a new season of her own show Spark; and her book Audiocraft is out later this year. She has worked on multiple award-winning audio series, and was a lead producer on the Peabody-Award-winning Uncivil.

About the Contributor

Actress, writer and producer Franchesca Ramsey is best known for hosting MTV’s award-winning series Decoded; her first book, Well That Escalated Quickly, was published in 2018. Most recently, she guest starred on NBC’s Superstore in addition to writing for the 2020 Oscars and Amazon’s Yearly Departed. She’s currently a writer/co-producer on the iCarly reboot for Paramount Plus.

About the Contributor

Quintessential Harlem girl, Gracie Award winner and life-long New Yorker Bevy Smith is the host of Sirius XM’s Bevelations on Radio Andy. A pop culture aficionado and fashion expert, she has served as moderator of Bravo TV’s Fashion Queens, and was a former co-host on the nationally syndicated Page Six TV. Her book Bevelations: Lessons from a Mutha, Auntie, Bestie was published in 2021.

About the Contributor

Lynn Nottage is a playwright and a screenwriter. She is the first, and remains the only, woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice for her plays Ruined and Sweat. She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films, and is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, among many other awards. She serves as an associate professor at Columbia School of the Arts.

About the Contributor

Pearl Cleage is an Atlanta-based author of 15 widely produced plays, including Blues for an Alabama Sky and Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous. Her novels include What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day and I Wish I Had a Red Dress. She was recently named Atlanta’s first Poet Laureate, and is the distinguished artist in residence at the Alliance Theatre.

About the Contributor

Legendary dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade has had ballets created for her by Lester Horton, Geoffrey Holder, Alvin Ailey, John Butler and Agnes de Mille. As an actor, she has been a member of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre, and an instructor at the Yale School of Drama. In 2017 she received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors award.

About the Contributor

The Meteor is a new media company committed to using journalism, art and live experiences to amplify the modern movement for gender equality. Launched by a collective of award-winning writers, artists, filmmakers and media leaders, we tell stories, create community and share solutions.

What listeners say about In Love and Struggle Vol. 2

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  • Overall
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Wow! Strong Black Woman!! Got my full attention

I truly believe this was meant for me to listen! What each Black woman had to endured before finally finding what was truly missing in each ones life!! How freakin great this feels!! Even in my saddest moment I am proud to have integrity !! Thank you for reawakening my inner strength peace! So worth listening to! I’m sharing for my daughter 🗣

1 person found this helpful

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I love this book

I enjoyed this book tremendously, this book resonates beyond color lines, age and where we as women are are in our lives. Although I am not African American and of Latin descent I of course was able to appreciate each story. I was raised however by African American women in my youth and I must say those years were the best in my life and hearing these stories made me think of all those wonderful women and made me see how we all are a thread in this beautiful masterpiece.

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surprised me I liked it!!

I stepped outside the box and am quite happy I did...don't normally listen to this type of listen but I did and so happy I did...great collection!!!

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I ABSOULUTELY LOVED IN LOVE AND STRUGGLE VOL 2!!!

Stop what you're doing and listen to the stories of these women, their stories are relatable. Its an hour and 22 mins of your time you won't regret. We are strong, we are talented, we are beautiful, we are one.......

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Wonderfully done

I wanted to personally thank all these women of color. Thank you for sharing your truth, humor, knowledge and for being amazing. 🙏🏾 ♥️

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Thank You!

This is an amazing work with stories told with such ease as if they are talking and speaking with the listener. Wonderful way to start the day and realize you’re not the only one who may be stuck in a way and needing to let go and live more without the daunting expectations of who everyone else wants us to be or thinks that we are. Amazing. Thank you!

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Just right, just enough

any longer, would have been too much for one sitting. You'll find yourself in one or all of the stories.

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I feel seen.

These women told such personal and compelling stories. They centered themselves and all of us. I love Black Women!