A “ride-or-die chick” is a woman who holds down her family and community. She’s your girl that you can call up in the middle of the night to bail you out of jail, and you know she’ll show up and won’t ask any questions. Her ride-or-die trope becomes a problem when she does it indiscriminately. She does anything for her family, friends, and significant other, even at the cost of her own well-being. “No” is not in her vocabulary. Her self-worth is connected to how much labor she can provide for others. She goes above and beyond for everyone in every aspect of her life—work, family, church, even if it’s not reciprocated, and doesn’t require it to be because she’s a “strong Black woman” and everyone’s favorite ride-or-die chick. To her, love should be earned, and there’s no limit to what she’ll do for it.
In this book, author, adjunct professor of sociology, and former therapist Shanita Hubbard disrupts the ride-or-die complex and argues that this way of life has left Black women exhausted, overworked, overlooked, and feeling depleted. She suggests that Black women are susceptible to this mentality because it’s normalized in our culture. It rings loud in your favorite hip-hop songs, and it even shows up in the most important relationship you will ever have—the one with yourself.
Compassionate, candid, hard-hitting, and 100 percent unapologetic, Ride or Die melds Hubbard’s entertaining conversations with her Black girlfriends and her personal experiences as a redeemed ride-or-die chick and a former “captain of the build-a-brother team” to fervently dismantle cultural norms that require Black women to take care of everyone but themselves.
Ride or Die urges you to expel the myth that your self-worth is connected to how much labor you provide others and guides you toward healing. Using hip hop as a backdrop to explore norms that are harmful to Black women, Hubbard shows the ways you may be unknowingly perpetuating this harm within your relationships. This book is an urgent call for you to pull the plug on the ride-or-die chick.