Photography by Emmanuel Hahn for Arq

Photography by Emmanuel Hahn for Arq

Anthonia Akitunde is the founder of mater mea, a platform for Black women at the intersection of career and family. Raised in Kansas City, Missouri on a healthy diet of books and magazines, her decision to become a journalist was practically inevitable. After graduating from the University of Chicago and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Anthonia moved to New York City to further her journalism career, freelancing for The New York Times, Fast Company, Fortune.com, and The Root before launching mater mea in 2012.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

I think increasingly Black History Month has become Black Future Month for me. Instead of looking back at the mainstays of our history—Dr. Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, the Civil Rights Movement—I've been engaging in outlets and institutions that have one foot in the past, paying homage and respect to where we've been, and the other looking at what we need to move forward. Now is such an amazing time to be a Black creative, and I'm constantly inspired by what I see coming from all over the world.

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I recently had the opportunity to go to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and was very moved by the stories of Black women's groups that acted as church, bank, doctor, therapist, babysitters, professors, business coaches, and sisters for their members. The National Association of Colored Women’s motto "Lifting As We Climb" has become the focus of my own platform's mission.


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