“and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be shared
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.”
I have seen Alice Walker speak twice here in Atlanta. Both times, the crowd was mostly women, predominately white women. My last observation of the energy from the admiration of her literary works came during the Q and A. I remember sitting there trying to construct a precise question on how she connects her creative process with her person as a black woman. What I realized specifically is that the majority of the questions from the black women were trying to get the same information as I was and that the white women were asking her about spirituality. I remember thinking how odd that seemed to me that both black and white women seemed uninterested in the documentary that was just viewed. We wanted more and yet, Alice Walker is for the most part a fiction writer.
Fast forward to me now back in grad school and how often she is referenced in Africana Women’s Studies, Gender Studies and Women’s Studies. It all makes sense. My question on how she connects her creativity and her womanhood is in all of her work. I know realize how intuitively and effortlessly this is done in her work. I’m not certain of this, but I don’t think as she sat and wrote prose, short stories or poems that she was thinking on how she could contribute to feminist critical theory or black feminist theory. Nor could she have known how her personal expansion of feminism into “womanism” would take on entire subjects. Or perhaps she did… after all she is also an essayists and speaker.
I dared to pursue my passion of studying theatre at Grambling State University. One of the first plays produced upon me entering was, “Livin’ Fat” by Judi Ann Mason. The theatre director so often bragged on how this play was written by his “class mate” and how she had written it while still attending Grambling. I didn’t think much of the playwright after the production until years later and I was living in Los Angeles.
One day I was watching the tv show, “Different World” and the writer credit for that episode read, Judi Ann Mason. It was then I found out she was more than a playwright born, raised and educated in the south. She was an award winning writer and a trailblazer for black writers in Hollywood.
The play, “Livin Fat” was produced off Broadway in 1976 by the Negro Ensemble Company, and won a comedy award sponsored by the Kennedy Center and television producer Norman Lear. Lear then hired her as a writer for the series “Good Times” and she went on to write for “Sanford”, “A Different World”, “Beverly Hills 90210” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
Judi Ann Mason, was one of the first female African-American sitcom writers in Hollywood and one of the youngest television writers of any race or either sex. As I am researching for my studies, re-discovering black women playwrights is imperative on my path. So today, we honor Judi Ann Mason! We remember you and thank you!
Happy Birthday Gloria Naylor, we remember and honor you!
“I can’t be a writer as a career.”
-then you won’t
“No one will understand my words.”
-then we won’t
“What the world doesn’t need is another writer!”
-then you won’t be one
Everyone doesn’t wake up with the notion to be a writer. A poet. A playwright. A novelist. But if you did, follow that feeling with a sincere belief there is reasoning behind it and seek it.
Where ever you go, there you are so you might as well be happy.
Many people will read this and immediately begin to think from a religious perspective and ignore the transformation that can be experienced from this mantra.
The politics of religion is about mind and crowd control, not freedom or spiritual growth. And perhaps this is where the frustration begins. Instead of viewing the glass as half empty people will view it as constantly starting over.
Those hard times are where you are burning to rise. Where you should allow yourself to come undone. Only to give birth to yourself again. Think differently… think spiritually.
She Chronicles celebrates the feminine narrative through showcasing Her unique vernacular in literary contributions. “Women writing about other women responsibly.”
People think this is not a big message, women writing responsibly about other women. If so, the majority of female stage, screen and television actors would not be placed in story lines primarily due to their relation with children and/or their husbands/boyfriends. We would have more stories that detail a developed protagonist and her achievements. There are TONS of stories that have a lead male who has a mission/goal that he goes after ambitiously and then at night returns home to his wife and children or his girlfriend. This is the massive norm. The feminine narrative has been bent into shapes over so many years that it is literally unrecognizable. Her voice sits so politely on the couch or hangs so nicely creased in the closet it appears comfortable and satisfied. It is not.
“Every person you meet is either a teacher or a mirror.”
Beyond space and time, the stories that we participate in are influenced by karma and experience. When I say stories we participate in I am talking about the day to day emotions and words that drive our behaviors. These stories are not new. How we will internalize them today is the only thing that is new! What if we began with who introduces us to the stories? How can you react differently today? How can you show empathy towards a passionate person or sympathy towards a negative person? Today, decide if every person you meet will be a teacher to influence a different karma tomorrow or if they will be a mirror to garner you with strength.
speak on love,