Updated: Feb 1, 2021
SuperExecuMom, Bozoma Saint John has dedicated her life to be ‘living representation’ for overcoming boundaries, self-imposed or not. She was born in the States, moved to Ghana, lived in Kenya for a bit before moving back to the States with her family in her early teenage years. That was when she started her journey to finding her voice and falling in love with it.
Her career kicked off at Spike DDB, Spike Lee’s advertising agency and has since served in the capacity of Head of Music and Entertainment Marketing at the CPG giant; Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music & iTunes; Chief Brand Officer at Uber; CMO for Endeavor; Guest lecturer for Harvard MBA Classes; Global Ambassador for Pencils of Promise and she serves on the board of Girls Who Code.
Here are 5 of 500 million moments when she’s cemented her place as Queen Badass!
#Sickbedslay: 4 days into her Netflix gig and still smelling like a new car, Boz ends up in the hospital and in surgery. Scaryyy story but then she goes ahead to send a message from her sickbed about the lessons she’s learned about herself. As if it couldn’t get any better, Luvvie Ajayi @luvvie comes on IG Live and it goes from Situation Report to a Bomb Q&A. In the interview, the two talk about wellness and the importance of listening to our bodies, the power of honesty and vulnerability, impostor syndrome in high places and the importance of accountability partners. Plus, the remarkable sickbed slay that had us swooning over her jeweled bonnets (hey highlowluxe!) to fringed pillows and robe luxury. She definitely raised the bar in that moment.
The Badass Workshop aka Bozoma U is another quarantine win I did not see coming! Yes it's a Win because getting into a workshop with Boz on stage typically costs an arm and a leg. No, Ms. St John’s workshop isn’t about turning us into Mini-mes of herself. It’s a no-holds-barred, truth slinging, super affordable 5 part course in unlocking YOUR inner badass - unlearning the banal standards for aspirations, discovering your voice and ditching the rat race to embrace the long game.
Old Vs New: I’m not as old as Boz but I have walked the Planet Earth long enough to appreciate the days without a twinge in my back. Still, Boz manages to teach us, Yes I use ‘Us’ because even Gayle gets schooled too. There’ve always been too few rules about pay negotiation and they can feel like hit or miss a lot of the time. In this interview on CBS This morning. Bozoma gives us a completely unique way to handle pay negotiation that answers our age-old concerns about negotiation rules we’ve been taught and why they don’t seem to be working. This overachiever insists that we go “high as hell” after doing the research and confirming the range, of course. Do you have a memorable negotiation story?
That #MomBoss moment on OWN’s Black Love when her daughter Lael comforts her while she speaks about losing her first baby at 7 months even while her body continued sending her reminders that she was a mom. Watching Lael love on her mom with the understanding that even while her mom looks fierce, she’s recounting a hurtful experience, is frankly amazing. It’s irrefutable proof that Lael’s being taught kindness and empathy from the people in her life. This moment is a reminder to all of us - Super ExecuMoms too, that we can raise strong Black kids who are kind and can feel empathy too.
Her Wakanda Forever Moment at SXSW 2019 where she talks about her early years and her Ghanaian ImmiGreat parents who didn’t believe in assimilation or shrinking away. The Arthurs were waaaaay ahead of their time, trust me. The survivor mentality was all that was acceptable at the time; you were expected to blend in, not stand out. Not The Arthurs! Our Boz was a tall dark-skinned girl, living hyphenated and immersing herself in Pop culture. This moment makes things so clear about how much impact our early years have on us and how it contributed to how she valued herself. The moment of moments is when she says “We’re on equal footing and I don’t have to pretend to be anything for you.” - E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G
What's your favorite Boz moment? Spill! firstname.lastname@example.org!