Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women

CHARLOTTE — Channel 9 is sitting down with five Black women for a conversation about race.

“A Black woman in America has a psychological burden. Every single morning, I wake up carrying this burden,” panelist Cheryl Comer said. “I have to be the very best, I can’t make mistakes.”

Five Black women -- their own stories, their own voices, waiting to be heard.

“You know that term, you know ‘smashing glass ceilings?’ Well, for Black women, it’s concrete,” panelist Angelica Foster said.

“And that stuff hurts us emotionally, it hurts. So somebody needs to hear what we’re going through, too,” panelist Mia Jenkins said.

>> Below, a powerful conversation about what it’s like to be a Black woman in America, and in the Carolinas.

Watch all 7 segments below:

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women -- Segment 1)

In the video below, we introduce the panelists.

  • Pastor Stacy King is a minister, podcaster and the elder of the group of women from ages 18 to 58 years old.
  • Jada Jones is an 18-year-old from Rock Hill. She was just accepted to a Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university.
  • Angelica Foster is just a few years older than Jada. She’s a Guardian ad Litem -- a legal advocate for children.
  • Mia Jenkins is 35 and in a few years, she will have spent more of her life in a wheelchair than she did walking. Her child’s father shot her in the back, leaving her unable to move from the shoulders down.
  • Cheryl Comer is an attorney in her 40s. She wants people to understand the Black woman’s perspective, which is much different than the Black man’s.

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women -- Segment 2)

Mia Jenkins was not supposed to survive her assault. She was a young mother, just 20 years old, who didn’t understand how bad things were going to get.

For domestic violence resources, call Safe Alliance at 980-771-HOPE (4673), or chat online here.

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women -- Segment 3)

There’s no question that Jada Jones -- a senior at Rock Hill High School -- is a winner. But it was a play by an opposing player that might go down as the most memorable of her entire athletic career.

Hitting the right chord has always been a quest for Cheryl Comer. Being a musician helped her understand what it’s like to be in tune, but out of sync -- something she says Black women face all too often.

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women -- Segment 4)

The killing of Breonna Taylor was a pivotal tragedy for the women on the panel. It was a senseless crime -- and proof that things are not as they should be. Some in this group have had their own disturbing encounters with law enforcement.

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women -- Segment 5)

Angelica Foster is a supervisor with the Guardian ad Litem program, working with volunteers to help children involved in legal battles -- just as she once was.

Her parents divorced after a domestic violence incident, and she and her sister wanted to live with their mother.

“It was automatic that my father because he was a pastor, and he was a male, that he would take the children,” Foster said.

As there was no court-appointed advocate for her, no one asked Foster and her sister who they wanted to live with until two years into the legal process. Now, her career is about making sure other children get what they need.

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women -- Segment 6)

Black women are just as likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as white, non-Hispanic women, but they are 40% more likely to die from it, according to health officials.

These women say they often suffer in silence, as their instinct is to prioritize others -- even when their own health is at stake.

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: A conversation with 5 Black women -- Segment 7)

This group of women may have been challenged in their lives, but they were greatly supported by women close to them. We asked them to write messages to the women who inspired them, and captured their exchanges as they read the messages to those women.