Black History Month | Queens that Reign Supreme
Sabine Quetant, Storyteller and Visual Designer at Blavity
Sabreen Enhancer: Najiyyah
What drives you everyday as a female creative?
I am driven by a desire to leave the world better than I found it. This desire guides me in my decisions on what projects to work on, who I collaborate with and what I support. We are all capable of bringing necessary good into this world and I embrace that mission. Every morning that I don’t feel like getting out of bed or stalling on sharing my ideas; I ask myself ‘Is this good?’ or taking a page from Marie Kondo ‘does this spark joy?’ I let these questions fuel my actions instead of ‘will people like it? , has someone already done it?, is it good enough?’
What advice would you give to aspiring female creatives?
What I wish I knew/understood a long time ago was to own my creativity and the opportunities it’ll bring. As a woman of color I often felt as if I needed to be eternally grateful for each opportunity that landed in front of me and don’t get me wrong I am, and while many of these opportunities arose through different connections and support systems; none of it would have been possible without my own creativity and hard work. My advice is to OWN IT and when opportunity knocks grab it!
Name one black woman you were inspired by or look up to.
I was completely spellbound the first time I picked up ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison. I was 19 or 20 and had never read about colors as emotions and had anyone describe what I was feeling inside myself; never felt anyone truly understood my experience in life. This book changed that for me and inspired me to tell my story, not just to tell it but so that other women and girls would feel heard and I understood. Toni’s ability to take what seems so simple and draw the true complexity and beauty of it to the surface is what inspires me to seek the beauty in everything around me.
How do you Reign Supreme?
I reign supreme by always being myself without apology. I value integrity, compassion and loyalty and I’ve encountered different scenarios where people wanted me to violate my values to get ahead or to get them what they wanted. But I stand my ground, I refuse to compromise myself for anyone else’s definition of success or ‘how things are done’. I’ll find a new definition if that’s the case, I ain’t sorry!