Dear Readers, July kicks off with the 4th of July. That means picnics and threeday weekends, but it’s also a great time to reflect on concepts like freedom and independence. These words can mean many things, but for black women especially, we may find ourselves thinking about our history, as well as what independence means in terms of our relationships, careers and health. I believe that in appreciating the steps we’ve made on the societal front, we must also be sure not to squander individual independence. That means taking ownership of our actions, how we care for our bodies, and how we advocate for our own wellbeing and our families. Even reading this magazine is independence, as it provides us with a voice; we then have the power to teach and share our messages as well as the power to learn and grow form what we read.