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Creator’s Corner: Candice Benbow Thrives In Authenticity

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NAME: Candice Benbow

OCCUPATION / AFFILIATION: Theologian, Essayist, Columnist, Baker, and Educator

LOCATION: Stone Mountain, Georgia (by way of Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

HOW ARE YOU USING YOUR GIFT TO INSPIRE THE COMMUNITY? “I think I use my gifts to elevate my community by just being honest and authentic. I think that for so many of us who were born and raised in the church, we were taught to have this kind of mask over us and to not necessarily give as much about who we are, how we feel and our experiences because you don’t want to ‘not be the good girl.’ I think that the way that I try to at least elevate my community is to say that we don’t have to be those stereotypes and live in those false realities. We can be just who we are and that is enough; it’s more than enough.”

THE CREATOR:

Having a way with words is no easy feat, and yet it seems like every time essayist Candice Benbow picks up a pen the right things always manage to pour out gracefully. Theologian by day and baker by night, or maybe vice versa, the celebrated “smart girl” in the room never comes off as a know-it-all; if anything, her delivery is more akin to a labor of love. Whether she’s writing for ESSENCE, Glamour or our sisters over at Madame Noire, Benbow carries her faith at all times and always makes sure to incorporate His word into the message. Hailing from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Southern belle got her start by building up her academics at Tennessee State University — she holds a BS in Africana Studies — as well as North Carolina Central University, where she received her Master of Arts in Sociology degree, and Duke Divinity School where she’s recognized as a Master of Divinity. It goes without saying, but the lady knows her stuff!

Her lectures over the years have touched a diverse range of topics that give all who attend them a little something from all angles to go home with, whether that be her game-changing essay collection, Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough, or simply making a space for conversation at the intersections of beauty, faith, feminism and culture. However, the brightest quality of Candice Benbow might just be her heart and how it opens for the world due to her unwavering relationship with the Lord and a willingness to always include Him in the conversation. That’s why when it came to talking about what it means to “elevate” your life and overall well-being, there was just no better person to help us put the feeling into words quite the way Candice can!

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