We had the good fortune of connecting with Rashonda Tate and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rashonda, what’s your definition for success?
In my opinion, success is an evolving thing. I think it’s when you feel you can be authentically you. Many things influence us in this world. It can be hard to feel like you’re enough. It’s like after a certain age we start caring about how the world perceives us to be. In a sense, we lose sight of the innocent magic, the things we enjoyed and did without even thinking. We sang to the top of our lungs, danced, cried and we felt limitless. Success to me is when you find that innocent magic again and apply it to the world. I think then you’ve found success.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
An ER cardiologist diagnosed me in 2013 after giving birth to my twins. I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. I spent two weeks in ICU fighting for my life, coded and had to be resuscitated. The cardiologist believes that I was suffering for two years prior but was diagnosed with asthma instead. This is the reason why I became a birth worker. I started my doula business because black women in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by myriad health issues and disparities. What underlies all of them is this country’s long history of structural and systemic racism—the processes within social, commercial, and government systems that disadvantage Black Americans. They can be seen through inequities in socioeconomic status, segregated communities, and even how Black women’s pain and conditions are disbelieved and dismissed by the medical community. It wasn’t easy when I first started because we were in the middle of a pandemic. Hospitals were limiting birth workers and it became difficult to support women during this process. I was steadfast in my pursuit to still provide support to women making changes to my business to adjust to our new norm. I’m excited about where my business is going. I have a passion to change the narrative. I want every woman to have a powerful birth story

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First of all, I love Atlanta. My first stop would be Regent’s rooftop bar. You cant come to Atlanta and not check out a few brunch places. We would go to C&C Social House, Copper Cove, and 5Church. I like a little turn-up. We are checking out Blue for a night vibe, Pasha and Apt B. We would go to Ponce City Market rooftop for drinks and adult games. Hit up the Bicycle Barn to rent bikes, grab a margarita at Guac y Margys and cruise the beltline. I love Little five points for the stone shops, boutiques and pizza. You cant leave Atlanta without checking out some history The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a good stop.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom. She has been instrumental in who I am today. She has been my biggest supporter in all my endeavors. She enrolled me in everything possible to get me exposed to life outside of our city. I wasn’t the rich kid growing up but my mom made sure to spark a fire in me that no one can put out.

Website: www.melaninheart.com

Instagram: melaninheart_

Linkedin: Rashonda Tate

Facebook: Melanin Heart

Youtube: Melanin Heart

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