Author helps women of color get 'a seat at the table'

Author helps women of color get 'a seat at the table'

GRAND CENTER – Best-selling author Minda Harts stands at the back of the room, dressed in a black blazer, a pair of black fitted jeans and a pair of powder-blue high-top Nike Blazers. She speaks in a quiet voice, but gives loud witness to her mission: to help the next generation of women of color advance in the workplace.

Harts was preparing to take the stage to speak about her new book, “The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table.”

In partnership with Left Bank Books, one of the oldest independently owned bookstores in St. Louis, Harts made a stop at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand Blvd., on Sept. 10 to lead an open discussion about the book and the issues that inspired her to write it.

Harts’ career development company, The Memo LLC, helps women in all shades of black and brown prepare for “a seat at the table” through career boot camps and workshops.

In what she calls a love letter written to women of color, Harts, a native of Southern California, uses her own journey to talk about the plight of the black woman in the workplace.

Ellen McGirt, senior editor of Fortune Magazine, served as moderator of the book talk, posing questions to both Harts and the audience of close to 40 people, the majority of whom were women of color. 

For about an hour, both women along with the audience engaged in an intimate conversation about their experiences, challenges, hopes and dreams as black women; but more specifically, how to navigate through their careers as their authentic selves.

“It’s an honor and a privilege,” Harts said. “One of the reviews that I got was that this book is disrupting an overwhelmingly white genre, and I feel very honored to do that; but what I hope happens is it will inspire more women that look like us to tell their stories.”

Harts explained that after reading countless books about professional development from women of other races, she realized that the challenges and experiences she faced were unique to a group of women who looked just like her.

“It might start with me, with this book, but I won’t be the only one. … It’s my small revolutionary act to make to help make the world a little bit better for us,” she added.

The book promises 203 pages filled with topics such as micro-aggressions, wage gaps, biases, discrimination and even actionable takeaways. It serves as a no-nonsense career advice guide for black women, one of the first of its kind.

To keep up with Left Bank Books, or to join the next book talk, visit online at left-bank.com. For the latest on Minda Harts, see her website, mindaharts.com

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