Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - Welcome to The Next Question, I'm Jenny. - I'm Austin. - I'm Chi-Chi. - So today ladies we have Brené Brown with us. - Whoop, whoop! - Yeah! - She is a New York Times bestselling author of books like "Daring Greatly", "Rising Strong", "Dare to Lead". She is also a sociology researcher focused on shame, vulnerability and courage. She also has a TED Talk that I think has like 48 million views or something. So no pressure. - Also "The Gifts of Imperfection". - Yes, which is our collective favorite. So ladies, what did we love about this conversation? - We've been listening to Brené talk for a long time about shame and vulnerability. But it doesn't often penetrate specifically into the lives of women of color, and how being vulnerable and being courageous and being brave can have extra costs associated to it. So it's so good to sit down with her and say Brené, but what about marginalized people? What does all of this research have to say for us who are dealing with so many systemic issues. - And I really loved how we got to some of the tough questions, when you start talking about human connection. What's at the core of all of this division. Because so many times they can become an issue, but we forget what it was supposed to be the fact that we're supposed to be connected to each other, and the fact that we're not is what really causes all of these problems. And I really appreciated her willingness to go there. - Yes. - Totally. - To have some really tough dialogue. But also in the same way to imagine what a better world can look like. Especially between white women and black women and women of color. That was a part where we don't often get to do that, name the thing, name ways that white women have hurt women of color. But also imagine it a different way. And that was a really special conversation. - Totally. I think one of my favorite parts of just doing the series in general is when our guest will say, I don't usually talk about this, or I've never been asked this question, and she said that a couple of times. And that felt really just special that we were tapping into a side of her that is very much there, like to hear about her being in grad school reading bell hooks, and just that she has been, she's been in this work for a long time, eyes wide open. And for her to have an outlet to really dive in, it felt kind of like an honor to create that kind of space together with her. - Shall we get to it? - Yeah, it's time for The Next Question. Brené, it seems that you have become more and more vocal about racial justice issues. Is there a recent moment that has sparked this, or some sort of personal change that has made you much more vocal about equity? - I love all the warmup questions, I really-- I was like, hell, we're here. So let me tell you the weird story. I am a social worker, I have a bachelors, Masters and PhD in social work. The first class I ever took was like structural oppression and genocide. Like this is just how we're trained. And so I didn't even, and I was raised on a very healthy dose of bell hooks. - Hey. - That's what I'm talking about. - Yeah huge, when I first started teaching I started teaching my first year in the doctoral program I would sleep with "Teaching to Transgress". - Listen. - Next to my bed with her picture up, so when I saw it in the morning, I was like because I wanted to control the classroom and everything that she said was like, education is liberation, let it go, let it go. And I was like, be aware of your whiteness. So I think I've always been, even if you go back to, I Thought It Was Just Me. Which was like, before The Gifts of Imperfection. I write about race, privilege. It's like I didn't, it was weird to me that we use the term white supremacy, when I was in graduate school like I was like, that just seems like a technically accurate term for what's happening. And then I think there was a lulling into complacency. And kind of always aware of it. So I think I've always written about it and talked about it, I just think it was always to the converted. And so I think, do you know what I mean? So now I think-- - Your audience has expanded so much since then. - And it's so interesting, because I'll put something out there, and they're like, oh my God you've become so radical. And I'm like you know page 155, 20 years ago, every paper I've ever written. Like no, you become so complacent like. And so I think I have a bigger audience now. But I don't think it's, I don't think I've changed that much, does that make sense? - Absolutely. - Who introduced bell hooks to you? Like where did that come from? - Who introduced bell hooks to me? Probably either Jean Contabu Lating, one of my mentors in graduate school. Karen Stout, another mentor of Barbara Novak, all mentors for me in graduate school. We read you know like, and I'm rereading her right now, rereading the trilogy. The Love. I am really working on a new strategy this month. - What do you mean? You're like, how your? - It's like they got my hate. I swore they wouldn't take my hate. But they got my hate. And then after that El Paso and Ohio shootings I haven't been online in over a month. - Wow. - Like not Instagram, nothing. Like I'm just something, I have to shift something. So I'm trying to think maybe I've abandoned love too much, so I'm rereading bell hooks right now. And I think I have to start fighting. I have this theory that if you're motivated by hate, it's just not sustainable. And I'll tell you this, I've never talked about this publicly, so these ideas are percolating, like be gentle with me on social media as you watch this. I think, let me think about this for a minute, I'm not filtering I'm just really thinking about my thoughts, I'm a pauser. I don't think like hate and shame-fueled activism is sustainable. - I think there are a lot of movement builders who would say the same thing, and I think they would add anger actually to that list. - I would add it too. - Right, but it can maybe be a catalyst. - A catalyst, yeah. - But for sustainability. - What doesn't work for me and I find myself in these arguments like you know, you're in your whiteness when you argue for privilege, I mean for civility, you're in your whiteness when you're saying no hate. But I just wonder, I look at the health outcomes for disenfranchised marginalized populations. I look at blood pressure, I look at like, even at the rage, like what a price to pay. When you're paying with your life. And then it was really hard and I'll be curious to see what you all think about this, this is the part I haven't talked about. I thought for like the last year that it was maybe a return to my faith where I would find a sustained fighting energy. - Right. - I'm not with the program -- I'm having a hard time, I'm having a hard time. I'm having a hard time. - I found myself redefining what it means. - Really? Because I grew up Christian, evangelical. And for the last three years I've had just a complete. First it all fell apart where there was some things that happened, specifically after a certain election where I was just like, I do not understand this. Like I don't understand how our faith, this is how it's manifesting. And I had to start from the beginning and just say, what does this mean? And my faith now doesn't look like what it did five, 10, even when I was younger, it has become this for me it's more about how do I show up in the world and the decisions that I make, how do they affect the whole. Not just me. Even as a black woman. Because I think I resonate when you talk about you can't let hate be the thing, because at the end of the day I find myself getting to the point where I don't even care if you're okay. I don't care if you ever understand that your privilege is wrong. Demolish the whole thing, let's just move forward. But how far does that actually get us? - I don't know, I mean it's the right question. - Right, are we just recreating what we've lived in now, or are we actually creating something new and imagining a world where there is actual connection and believing that real community can exist. Because there was a period of time and I still struggle with it, I didn't know if that was possible. I was like, I don't know if we can actually live together. - Yeah, I think I'm living in that question right now. And it so goes against everything I believe. But I don't see church helping. - No right, no. - It's definitely not leading on anything. - It's not leading. - It's not pastoring, it's not showing up. - It's not telling the truth. - It's not telling the truth. I think it's marketing and it staying safe and it's staying quiet, it's trying not to ruffle too many feathers. And I don't think that's not the origins of the faith that I grew up in, I don't recognize it today. So I think I'm going back to the people that are, shifting the lens. Like shifting the lens helping me see it more, like within the confines of what's happening today. Like you can't be having it just be like all ideology without it actually being implemented until today. Whose life is different because of their faith, those are the people I want to be around. - That's right, reading your book, your book got a lot of airtime and airtime is not good for books in my house.