When asked how she’s manages to hold onto her peace given all that she’s been through in her life, best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant broke it all the way down.
“Well, hell. Don’t you know police are shooting Black people? I can’t be out in the street acting crazy,” she said during her ESSENCE Festival keynote address. “I would want to show up peacefully. I don’t want to be in the street as an angry Black woman, that is not going to turn out well for me at all.”
Though she’s an extremely spiritual person, Vanzant’s peace comes from her deep-seated connection to her ancestors.
“My grandmother scrubbed toilets and floors and cooked food for people that didn’t see her as a full-fledged, bona fide woman,” she explained. “I don’t have the privilege to be anything less than excellent. I have to be at peace because excellence is peace.”
Although the Fix My Life star has experienced tremendous difficulties like overcoming an abusive childhood and loosing her daughter to cancer in 2003, Vanzant said she has no reason to complain.
“My grandmother and my great-great grandmother and my great-great-great grandfather paved the way for me,” she told attendees. “I got a key, a car, a house, and 18 pairs of shoes, how dare I complain about how difficult it is?”