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· Year of the Woman

My name is Sankan. I was named by my father who is from Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa. Sankan means ‘joy’.

Sankan, what is your story?

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. An 80's baby born to a father from Liberia and a mother from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m the youngest of two children. I was a very quiet, shy child. I spent a lot of time to myself, in my own world, always wrapped up in my own thoughts. I had a few close friends but I was mostly a loner. I was pretty much a nerd, a straight ‘A’ Honor Roll student who won spelling bees, science fairs and made valedictorian in high school. Outside of school, I was an awkward tall black girl who loved to read and loved music. I spent a lot of my early years trying to blend in and please others.

Where does your story leave you standing today?

It took a while, but now in my 30s I’m in a place where I’m now starting to focus on myself. I’m learning to love myself. I’m discovering my own identity. I’m figuring out what makes me tick, so to speak, by learning more about my likes, dislikes, and desires. I’m embracing the things about me that makes me unique and I’m no longer interested in trying to blend in. I’m putting myself first and learning to protect and preserve my peace. I’m still very much a work in progress but it is an exciting and enlightening time for me.

If you could go back to your childhood and have a talk with yourself, what would you say?

I would tell myself that I am the sh*t. I would tell myself that I’m beautiful and that I have everything I need within me. I just need to trust and believe in myself. I would also tell myself to love myself more.

There is a saying, “Behind every strong woman are other strong women,” Who is the woman or women who stand behind you?

My mother and my grandmothers. I see so much of them in me. I come from strong, independent, self- assured, hard working women.

Tell us more about you!

I am the founder of the brand, The Shoe Slay. It is currently an online shoe store that specializes in providing fashionable and affordable women’s shoes in larger sizes 10-13. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. It was born out of my own personal experience. I wear a size 12 and I’ve always had a hard time finding shoes since I was little. This contributed to my awkwardness and desire to fit in growing up. But now I hope that I can inspire confidence in women like myself and let them know that beauty is not limited by size. A great pair of shoes can do wonders for a woman’s self-esteem and I believe that all women should be able to experience that feeling regardless of their shoe size.

My website is I’m also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @theshoeslay.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Getting to know you was so much fun. You are beautiful inside and out. And your story deserves light. We celebrate you, Sankan.

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