DBM Ep 56: Menopause, Black Women & Spiritual Ritual w/ Omisade Burney-Scott

omisade Burney Scott Black Women, Menopause & Spiritual Ritual




Dear Mama,

What if I told you understanding menopause was a matter of life and death? In her 2022 book You Got Anything Stronger, Gabrielle Union went into deep detail about how in her words, “the surge and retreat of hormones” during perimenopause and menopause caused her to have passive suicidal ideations and pointed out that science has focused on hiding symptoms or treating the symptoms of menopause that have mattered most to men like vaginal dryness.  The part of Union’s book that made me pause, and see what I did there, was when Union stated, “According to a 2020 CDC study, the suicide rate among women is highest for those ages 45-64” and called out how women’s depression is often linked to men or their children, focusing on the external features of women’s lives and not the internal.  That’s when I knew we had to do an episode about Menopause, and I knew just who to turn to Omisade Burney Scott, creator of the platform Black Girl’s Guide to Surviving Menopause which includes a podcast of the same name.   

Black Mama Creative Week is the perfect time to drop this episode. Burney-Scott is a trailblazer in this field, and roots her work in her spiritual practice producing creative projects such as Messages From the Menopausal Multiverse. In this episode, we talk: 

👉🏾Listening to your body 

👉🏾Menopause & spirituality

👉🏾Deciding to have the best sex of your life

👉🏾Patreon Bonus Content: The greatest story Nekisha ever told & why her Daddy is a REAL ONE!



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It’s Black Mama Creative Week!

Founded by Dem Black Mamas Podcast #BlackMamaCreativeWeek is a series of digital events that:

  • Celebrates the innovative contributions of Black mothers to Black culture
  • Uplifts and amplifies the work of Black Mama Creatives
  • Explores practices that help Black mothers produce creative work that centers healing and liberation

Our intention of the week is to remind Black mamas that motherhood is not the graveyard of dreams and to shrink ourselves to align with a motherhood trope rooted in self-sacrifice, does not serve mamas.

Black Mama Creative Week does not limit creativity to art.  Creativity includes innovation and ingenuity, which means we celebrate creativity in birth work, tech, etc.  For us, creativity is a vital part of the evolution of our culture and liberation.

Monday, June 26th
Episode Release: Black Mamas, Menopause & Following Your Spiritual Path with Omisade Burney Scott
What I Know Now: Five Things I Would Change If I Started a Podcast Today, IG Live, 3pmPT/6pmET
Tuesday, June 27th
Ask Anything: Composing Dynamic Questions to Create Compelling Interviews, 4pmPT/7pmET, Link to Register: demblackmamas.com/events
Wednesday, June 28th
Black Birthworker Wednesday Launch IG Live, 3pmPT/6pmET
Thursday, June 29th
Being the Blueprint: Helping Black Mama Creatives & Entrepreneurs Design a New Path, 4pmPT/7pmET Link to Register: demblackmamas.com/events
Friday, June 30th
Seven Ways to Recharge Your Creativity, IG Live, NoonPT/3pmET

Mac & Cheese:

Omisade Burney-Scott (Oh-me-SHAH-day, she/her) is a seventh-generation Black Southern feminist, storyteller, and social justice advocate.  She is also the creator/curator of The Black Girls’ Guide to Surviving Menopause (BGG2SM), a multimedia project focused on normalizing menopause and aging through the centering of the stories of Black women, women-identified and gender-expansive people. BGG2SM curates opportunities for people experiencing menopause or will experience menopause in the future to think about and, often, reimagine their own story and menopause journey as something unique, dynamic, natural, and deserving of respect and support. BGG2SM has collaborated with Society for Women’s Health and Research, Prevention Magazine, Elektra and partnered with Kindra to create the Say More Conversation & Journaling Cards. 

BGG2SM’s core programs are their Black Girl’s Guide to Surviving Menopause podcast, which is a guide to the different stages of menopause, intergenerational storytelling gatherings, and annual zine called “Messages from the Menopausal Multiverse”. She has been featured in numerous outlets, including Oprah Daily, Forbes, VOGUE, Prevention, The Washington Post and The New York Times.  Omisade currently resides in North Carolina.

  • Segment Highlights
    • [00:20:04] The way that we plan our events, the way that we vision for the year is all based on ritual and taking all of what we are trying to manifest to our mat, then taking it to the river and then offering back to community. Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:26:19] Then here’s another thing that’s gonna bug y’all out.  I had my last menstrual cycle, February of 2013.  I went to, um, Nigeria March. When I returned from Nigeria, I never had a cycle again. Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:29:28]  I got pregnant at 40, had a miscarriage and that’s when I learned that menopause is actually a spectrum. -Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:34:20]  Black women identified Latinx people we experienced menopause earlier, perimenopause earlier and longer and more intense.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:36:38] This is why maternal health, contraception, sex positivity, menopause and aging, all lives inside of reproductive justice founded by nine black women in 1994 and I need for folk who just been introduced to the language of reproductive justice, not to invisibilize these sisters.  I’m gonna call their names, please:Toni M. Bond Leonard, Reverend Alma Crawford, Evelyn S. Field, Terri James, Bisola Marignay, Cassandra McConnell, Cynthia Newbille, Loretta Ross, Elizabeth Terry, ‘Able’ Mable Thomas, Winnette P. Willis, and Kim Youngblood. These were the nine black women who attended a conference in Cairo, Egypt about women’s health, and they went there as a part of reproductive rights and health work. They were folk who were doing work around sexual assault and domestic violence, rape, crisis stuff, all kinds of things. While they were at this conference, they realized that the United States was not approaching reproductive health from a human rights lens. So they came back and they were like, we need to do something different.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:39:32] There was a period time where I was a perimenopausal person, and my oldest son was getting ready to graduate from high school and go to college.  My marriage was ending. I had a toddler and I was working for a statewide voting rights organization at the time that North Carolina was experiencing this attack on our voting rights.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:41:36] What I have now is perspective around how I was navigating and managing it, and I also think that my body was giving me a lot of information, like I felt like my body was yelling at me.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:46:44]  I know now what my younger sister and I were watching were three perimenopausal or menopausal women laughing with each other, eating food, crying, holding space for each other, protecting each other, being a soft place to land as marriages ended or people died, or parents died.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:51:54] And when you are standing at that threshold of that new liminal space, you deserve journey made, you deserve guides, you deserve doulas. I think of myself as a menopause doula.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [00:59:22]  Everybody has an RJ story.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [01:09:00] Lubricant is all our friends. I don’t care if you’re 25 or if you’re 85, lube is your friend. I don’t care if you’re having sex with someone else or you’re having sex by yourself lube is your friend. Lube is your friend. You should always incorporate lube.Omisade Burney-Scott
    • [01:09:46]  If you’ve been impacted negatively by a lot of messages about your sexuality, about being a sexual person, about experiencing sexual pleasure and that has never been addressed, that’s never been unlearned, someone’s never offered you another way to think about yourself sexually as a sexual being, then when you become menopausal, that doesn’t mean it’s gonna end.  It may get exacerbated.Omisade Burney-Scott

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