The Afro-Latina Experience: North v. South.
Starting off with huge energy, Gi welcomes Media Personality/Community Activist Ohavia Phillips! The two kick off their time together with a slice of humble pie, hyping each other up and how their own content spoke to each other.
Ohavia recalls her upbringing, calling a Gi a unicorn since she is CLT born and bred. A thorough bred Brooklynite, Ohavia is grateful to her family for moving to Charlotte since the city has been so kind to her. An Afro-Latina, Ohavia definitely is rooted in her culture but appreciated the fact that when coming to Charlotte she still was able to fit right in.
Gi and our guest dive into the black experience in New York compared to the south and it was definitely day and night. Up north, there was an understanding melting pot situation where no matter what you looked like there your identity wasn't assumed. Ohavia also debunked the "New Yorkers are mean" myth and attributed that to being in a large city and having to fight for their worth with so many more people.
The starkest difference between the Black/Afro-Latina experience between up north and the south, was that in the south people often questioned her background or had to explain where she came from constantly.
From the Newsroom to the OhShow Community.
When Gi asks Ohavia of her "ah-hah" moment she recalls working in the newsroom and being constantly ridiculed simply being herself. She for sure says she is grateful for the small lessons of the trade she gained, but she quickly realized that falling in order and subjecting herself to a "status quo" was not going to cut it. After being reprimanded for having long nails, Ohavia took the leap in 2018 and quit her comfortable job in a Charlotte newsroom and took her passion, the Oh Show, and turned it into a lifestyle.
Soon after, Ohavia was working on finding her message and the world was hit with the death of George Floyd. She soon took to her platform and called out social media influencers who show out for monetization and not their community. She remembers recording her message, feeling "prepared to be cancelled" she went to sleep with 5000 family members (followers).
The next morning she woke up with over 10k and an immense flood of support.
"...and that is when I realized there is a niche for honesty. There is a niche for that real." preached Ohavia.
Later in the interview, Gi notes Ohavia's involvement with the Tent City initiatives in Charlotte regarding the displacement of homeless people in Charlotte. Gi asks Ohavia who she rallied or called to figure it out and Ohavia let us know
"This is a Black Vibrations exclusive. I do not think I have ever told anyone like this, but I don't call anyone. I see what is going on in the community and go see what is going on, I go live and say my piece. From there I connect with people who agree and they ask me what can be done and I just ask them back - What's up then?"
Ohavia's IG platform is 100% community based as she aims to focus on local issues and news that relate to the plight of everyday people.
My Polka Dot is Blessed
One thing Ohavia and Gi wanted to double back on is the plight of the entrepreneur. She recalls the value of things like free coffee and gas money while she was in the beginning stages of her journey. She shout outs all her mentors, allies, etc. Without any of those kind spirits that looked after her, she tells us it would have been a much harder journey to where she is now.
Ohavia references Missy Elliot when talking about her community circle, but takes it a step further in calling it a polka dot that there will always be less people that understand you fully than not.
Lastly, Gi and Oh discuss how one day a bed ridden, COVID sick Ohavia received a call from CLT renowned Poet, Blues, - offering up the regal Blumenthal Arts Center as home for the Oh Show. Again, part of the polka dot of people that will be serious about your gift.
Make sure to catch Oh and follow her:
Peace and Blessings!!