Part 3 Antoinette White: Recounting Her Pain and Abuse to Empower Other Women
Though Antoinette White has endured some exceptionally tough spots in her life, she has always remained focused on her two sons and doing what is necessary to create a better life for them. She doesn’t want them to deal with the obstacles she had to overcome: extreme poverty as a child, homelessness, and domestic violence when her sister was killed. Today, as an entrepreneur, empowerment coach, motivational speaker and self-published author, she is dedicated to helping other women and girls prepare for life’s sometimes-rough journey. Her Mission to Motivate firm helps women through self-esteem rituals and resilience training, while also encouraging self-forgiveness and healing from past experiences. In her book Who’s Protecting Me? she shares how she overcame the many difficulties she faced. In the last of three articles by writer/editor Lynn Norment for BeGeorgeous, Antoinette White talks about her hopes and dreams for her sons and other aspects of her personal life.
BeGeorgeous: You are a very busy woman, with traveling, speaking, helping other people, in addition to rearing two sons on your own. Is there anyone special in our life?
Antoinette: Yes, I am dating someone special. My ideal person is someone who is in service to my gift, who knows this calling I have on my life is bigger than me, who understands communication is important, loves to travel, is family-oriented and spontaneous. I have all of that.
BeGeorgeous: You know the challenges and hardships of being a single mother. Tell us about your experience and how you overcame those circumstances.
Antoinette: I already had a strong example in my mother. So when my marriage ended, I knew I had two little ones looking up to me. I knew that I had to do everything in my power to give them a life I didn’t have. I never wanted them to experience what it was like to have the utilities turned off. I never wanted them to experience an eviction. When the opportunity came for me to get Section 8 housing, I did. I was working and I knew it was temporary. It saved me a couple hundred dollars a month, and that helped. I recall one time I only had $3 to feed two kids. I took them to Wendy’s and ordered off the $1 menu. I purchased them a burger a piece, shared fries and two cups of water. I didn’t worry about eating as long as my children ate.
No matter what was going on in my life, as a single mother overcoming homelessness, I still took college classes, even if it meant just taking one course at a time. I always tried to get a higher paying job. I went from being a manager at Burger King, to a mall retail store, to packing up houses for military movers, to landing my first office job. It wasn’t until I received my bachelor’s degree 10 years after graduating from high school that my life really changed and progressed. I had to show my boys how important it was to stay determined and pursue an education.
BeGeorgeous: What lessons or principles do you try to impress on your sons?
Antoinette: To stay determined. They can be anything they want to be. If they decide to go to a university or take a trade, I want them to choose a field where they can work for themselves and become entrepreneurs. As young African-American males, they already have a strike against them, but if they educate themselves then they’re free because oppression starts with the mind.
BeGeorgeous: What do you tell your sons in regards to dealing with women or girls?
Antoinette: I told them that we women are difficult. LOL. I told them to treat a woman the way they would treat me. Respect her, love her and be honest when you no longer feel that, when you know the relationship is over. Never put your hands on a woman! And the key to any lasting relationship is to communicate.