Meet Christine Platt
Author, Advocate & Afrominimalist
Christine Platt is a modern-day renaissance woman also known as The Afrominimalist. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies, M.A. in African-American Studies, and J.D. in General Law. An award-winning author of over two dozen literary works, Christine’s most recent book, The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less, is a radical re-envisioning of minimalism that focuses on authenticity over aesthetics.
№1 — What has been the most rewarding part of your journey as an author/advocate?
It’s been almost 20 years since I began my journey as an advocate for environmental and social justice, and almost 10 years since my advocacy expanded into literature, and I have to say the work just gets more rewarding with each new initiative and writing project. One of the beautiful aspects of being a career advocate is that you get to see tangible evidence of the impact you’ve made in the lives of the others. Some of the children who learned the importance of representation in literature with my early readers are now entering middle school, and I still hear from their parents. Some of the college students and young activists I mentored and trained are now authors and starting their own careers in the social justice and environmental sectors. If I have to point to one singular rewarding part of this journey (because there are many!), it would be seeing the impact our choices can make on the next generation. It’s such powerful and meaningful work.
№2 — What is one piece of advice you would give to female business owners wanting to take the next step in their career?
This is going to sound so cliché but the advice I would give is to go for it! I think the fear of failure causes so many people to remain stagnant, to keep playing it safe. But there’s nothing like looking back and wondering (as my mom likes to say) “What if I woulda, shoulda, coulda?” Just go for it. I don’t believe in failure because those are some of our most teachable moments, those times that force us to recalibrate and evolve. I was blessed to have the opportunity to be the commencement speaker at my daughter’s graduation and told her senior class: “Conflicts teach you the power of resolution. Losses teach you to appreciate your gains. And setbacks are the only way you can make a comeback, stronger and wiser than you were before.” And I live by those words. I believe one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the permission to reinvent ourselves as many times and as often as we need to.
№3 — What is the hardest, yet most valuable lesson you have learned throughout your career?
Ha! So many hard lessons and again, all were invaluable. But without a doubt, the hardest was not being my own best advocate. To sit silently instead of demanding and commanding my worth. Once I learned that lesson (and I had to repeat it far too many times before I learned it), the sky was the limit!
№4 —What inspired you to write “The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living With Less?”
The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living With Less is an extension of my advocacy work in environmentalism and sustainability. Minimalism is truly a lifestyle of intention: being intentional about what you have, what you welcome into your life, and how you pay it forward with those things that no longer serve you. Unfortunately, somehow the aesthetics of mainstream minimalism became the forefront of the movement rather than the practice. And that’s what inspired me – I saw gap that needed to be filled to teach others how to approach this lifestyle through the lens of authenticity over aesthetics, to understand that our consumption has an impact far beyond what we pay for items or how many things we own. When people tell me that can’t be a minimalist, I tell them, “Okay, so don’t be a minimalist then!” The goal is not to have a certain number of things or to mirror a certain design aesthetic. The goal should be becoming a more mindful consumer who only has what you need, use, and love.
№5 — What brings you the most inspiration and/or joy throughout your day-to-day?
Few things bring me more joy than waking up (which is always a reason to celebrate!) and sitting in the quiet stillness of the morning with my plants, burning incense, sipping a cup of coffee or tea, and realizing I get yet another opportunity to live the life I fought so hard for. I’m inspired by simply living the life I want and deserve.