Verta Maloney is “all love with appropriate doses of rage.” The Harlemite is co-founder of two organizations, 45 Lemons and the*gameHERs, a storyteller, and anti-racism facilitator with 25 years of education experience. For Women’s History Month, we sat down with Verta to chat a bit about her journey. Here is HerStory.
We are celebrating women. What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
I love that we have this month where you all can give us our flowers, because women are the salt of the Earth. Kind of where everything comes from, and where everything returns to, and all the good stuff in between. I LOVE being a Black woman: I am grateful to come back in this lifetime as one. For me, being a woman is all the things; it’s embracing vulnerability, femininity, and strength.
What are some lessons that you’ve learned from women in your life in the past and present?
Everyone always mentions their mother. My mom used to say to me when I was little “a willing heart makes a light foot.” When we kind of let life happen, and willingly go with the flow of whatever is to be, then it’s a light ride. And I don’t mean light in the sense that you don’t experience darkness or sadness, those are all the beautiful things about being human, but if you’re kind of willing to go there, then it’s a light ride. I got from my mother, as well as all of the Caribbean ways of being in the world that I’m learning and unlearning as a woman.
What are some times in your life that you had to pivot?
You know I think pivot is such an interesting word. As a former high school basketball player , pivoting is vital to the game and I think that in life, it doesn't have to be as hard as a pivot as in basketball. I think that a little bit of what I was saying before, “a willing heart makes a light foot,” is that go-with-the-flow of life. That sometimes will take you in a different direction. Where I sit right now, I am the founder of two companies. I'm the founder and CEO at a gaming company; I would have never thought of me doing this ever! If you would have asked me a year ago “what's Verta going to be doing in a year?”, I didn't know that. Being willing to leave places where I was not fully fully embraced for who I was, was a hard decision, and that's kind of a pivot but it really is just going with the flow .
What do you love about being a woman?
Oh gosh, I love it all. More so now in life, I embrace femininity. I love more feminine things like jewelry.I don't really wear a lot of makeup, but I just love the feminine softness and suppleness of what it is to be a woman.