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Shanita Hubbard  

Professor, Advocate, Mother & Author of "Ride or Die: A Feminist Manifesto For The Well-Being of Black Women"

Shanita Hubbard’s writing has helped foster complex discourse around intracommunity sexual violence, abuse within the hip hop community, and the complicated relationship between Black women and hip hop. Accordingly, she was featured in the HBOMAX Documentary “On the Record” as an expert to provide commentary on the intersection of sexism and racism in America.

Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Pitchfork, ESSENCE, and a host of other publications. Hubbard is represented by LoTurco literary agency and is also the author of the bestselling book "Ride or Die: A Feminist Manifesto for the Well-Being of Black Women."

In the book, Hubbard, now an adjunct sociology professor, therapist and clinical consultant for therapists, interrogates the notion of the “ride or die chick” — a Black woman who holds down her family and community, often at her own expense. Hubbard argues that this way of life has left Black women exhausted, overworked, overlooked, and feeling depleted. She suggests that Black women are susceptible to this mentality because it’s normalized in our culture.

Combining her own personal experience with those of other Black women around her, and research on the physical, financial and emotional health of Black women, "Ride or Die" fervently dismantles cultural norms that require Black women to take care of everyone but themselves.

Speech Topics

Reimagining the "Soft Life"

Reimagining the "Soft Life." In 2023 the concept of the "soft life" was inescapable. Women were talking about booking house cleaning services, taking more trips, and going to the spa. I love it all! However, in 2024 I want us to reimagine this concept independent of these lovely, but expensive factors. Plus, you can be on a first class flight to your dream location but unable to enjoy it because you haven't made a mindset shift. Reframing your internal dialogue also includes refraining from talking to yourself extremely hard. For example, I was guilty of telling myself the harshest things about a relationship as a way to "let go." "Girl, he never loved you." In reality, a better reframe would be something like you both gave each other what you were supposed to and now the relationship is over. I also used to re-read old text arguments as a way to remind myself what I walked away from. That only retriggers a person, and it's a toxic habit. Beyond relationships, reimagining a soft life applies to every aspect of our lives ( career, motherhood, etc.). I had to learn to stop feeling guilty about refusing to measure myself against professional and motherhood standards that did not align. That is definitely part of creating a soft life.

Going Beyond 444: Moving Hip-Hop into the next 50 years by figuring out how we address intra community harm

Centering the framework of restorative justice as a way to address harm and promote healing without using cancel culture as a one-size fit all approach.

Based on a chapter in Hubbard's book, "Ride or Die," about Jay Z's song "444." In the chapter, and in this keynote, she unpacks the cultural impact of the song but also makes the argument that Black women deserve more than apologies for harm that was done to them — they deserve restoration. The chapter does not center the relationship between Jay and Beyonce, rather it unpacks the framework of restorative justice and how this should be implemented in communities to repair harm, instead of stopping at 444 moments, which is simply a public apology.

Hip-hop, Black Women, and Black Liberation

Feminism is the way forward.

Ride or Die: A Feminist Manifesto for the Well-Being of Black Women

Deconstructing the "ride-or-die" trope and exploring how it manifests at work. In this topic I unpack how women, particularly women of color, sometimes attempt to prove our worth through excessive labor without even realizing it. I designed it to be an engaging and interactive topic so the audience walks away with strategies to identify this pattern in themselves and ways to avoid it, and by default reducing burnout.

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