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Black Means Black

By: Lisa Hurley

This post is dedicated to the non-Black people trying to join The Great Exhale™

The Great Exhale is, by design, a private membership community FOR BLACK WOMEN.

As I write this post, I confess that I'm not feeling not so exhale-y, since several non-Black people have joined, or attempted to join, The Great Exhale.

It's Day 2 of existence for our platform created (I repeat) specifically FOR BLACK WOMEN, and rather than being free to celebrate yesterday’s amazing launch, we have had to spend time drafting Membership Requirements statements because people don’t want Black women to have nice things.


Y’all really try to make simple things difficult. 😑

Let me share a story:

A lifetime ago, I volunteered at the JCC Manhattan to give Reiki treatments to people dealing with late-stage cancer. The JCC is the Jewish Community Center. I went in, gave the treatments, and left. You know what I did not do? Try to join the JCC. Why? Cause I’m not Jewish. It’s a community center for Jewish people.


I have said and will continue to say that I always have and always will center Black people, and especially Black women, in my work. That will never change.

And behavior like this is exactly why The Great Exhale is needed.

As Latrice Torres (our Executive Director) and I have said consistently from the beginning, The Great Exhale is a soft, nurturing space created to center Black women, who are so often left forgotten in the margins of life. 🙏🏾🤎🙏🏾

Not POC.



We have also said that we, of course, have no plans to get “ancestry . com specific.” YOU, dear reader, have to know whether or not you’re Black. And you have to be honest. Black people come in all hues and hair textures, and live all across the globe. And The Great Exhale movement is a global one. So…you have to honestly know and admit what you call yourself.

Phenotype aside, I have always called, and will always call, myself a Black woman. With a capital B.

I. Am. Black.

If you have to do complex equations and intellectual gymnastics; if you have to reference your 3 great aunts 5 times removed; if you “feel Black” because you have proximity to Black people, and you co-opt AAVE…then ion know…The Great Exhale might not be the space for you. 🤷🏾‍♀️

Everything is not for everybody and that is ok. This space is for US.

Y’all have whole country clubs and various other organizations - not to mention workplaces - where we are not welcome. Now we’ve created a space for ourselves, all of a sudden you’re talmbout “inclusiveness.” 😑

We have already removed people from the community who actually identified themselves as not being Black. Like literally came in and introduced themselves as non-Black humans. With their full chest. Whew. In order to keep the community psychologically safe for our members, we will continue to remove interlopers.

The virtual doors of The Great Exhale™ are open—for Black women. 🤎🤎🤎 This will not change. If you are a Black woman who is ready to exhale, join us today.

Asé 🙏🏾

With love, light, and logic,


P.S. If you don’t understand “talmbout”… 🤷🏾‍♀️


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