Why She’s interesting: Cargle’s activism and academic work provides tools and resources to encourage intellectual discourse around the intersection of race and womanhood. With 1.9 million followers on Instagram, she puts forth a monthly self-paced and self-priced learning platform, The Great Unlearn, which provides a syllabus of critical texts, lectures and reading lists from academics of color to aid the process of unlearning internalized systems of racism.
Star Pupil: While Cargle’s own writing has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar and The Huffington Post, she most recently opened an online bookstore, Elizabeth’s Bookshop & Writing Center, for writers and teachers to share and engage with each other. She’s also the founder of the Loveland Foundation, which provides free mental health services to Black women and girls in need. “I invite people to reimagine the world we live in to build a better, more beautiful community.”
New Strings: Busy as she is, Cargle has found time to pick up a new hobby: the cello. Through virtual lessons with her teacher and vigorous practice, she enjoys the meditation and spiritual connection that occurs in the music and the physical demands of learning how to play. “I just love the mind-body connection. Holding the bow, how you sit in relation to the instrument resting on you — it affects the sounds and music that you create through the cello. It’s a unique science behind it that really fascinates me.”
Foremothers’ Lessons: Despite the circumstances last year, Cargle had the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with renowned writers and activists, such as Nikki Giovanni and Angela Davis. In those talks, they covered a variety of topics such as surviving white men, antiracism work, joy, the Black struggle and feminism. “I got to speak, look and engage with them on a softer, more deeper and personal lens. I got to engage with them beyond the parameters of race.”
Cargle is self-taught in American Sign Language.