Years ago I decided I would not never become a teacher. I envisioned it as confinement. I am a creature of routine BUT I do not want one imposed on me. I always saw being an educator as someone who was doomed with routine and rewarded with low pay. That was not the life I wanted to live.
As time and the ancestors would have it, my poetry created a platform for me to engage my art at colleges and universities. Not just as the “entertainment” but additionally as an educator to young writers on the importance of preserving the black vernacular. My art eventually evolved to focusing on the feminine narrative. Encouraging the black feminine voice expressed and written from a holistic perspective and not just as a presence to move a plot forward. These discussions exposed two things, (1) I had more questions than answers and needed to do more research to educate myself (2) I was pretty good at this teaching thing.
My community knows me primarily as a performance poet and from the theatre. Both of these creative platforms allowed me to express undivided and intellectually intact. I had the company to be beautiful and the security to laugh at myself and others. As I immersed myself more with the writing community, plays and novels, I felt absent- invisible even. I was stifled with this feeling once before when I studied film at Howard University for my M.A. In screenplay writing, I didn’t have the company of voice, meaning the character written or represented on film, was not a bridged visualization of my existence as a woman. A black woman, a woman of color living in this country. My questions about the presence or the acceptance of what was represented as the black feminine narrative, now became a plaque of concerns. That was until I got my hands on Toni Morrison’s “Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination”.
Don’t miss out on the submission period for SHE CHRONICLES 2018! This is our annual celebration for literary works for/about/by the feminine narrative. Enjoy some of the highlights from SHE CHRONICLES 2017 today!
She in Texas / South Dakota
She in Alabama / South Carolina
Empty beds / abandoned hairbrushes
a forgotten body
Yes, folks… it is that time again! Time to get those submissions ready for SHE CHRONICLES 2018
Click through the issue of She Chronicles from 2016. The deadline is March 28th so get those selections in!
Being a woman is not a story, we cannot be placed as non-fiction on your shelf
It is a movement
an expansion of bones.
being a Woman is a lesson in astronomy.
cooking chili is a recipe and then it is done
being a Woman is not a story.
We are not dialogue to be used in moving a plot forward
We are more than fixtures in the home after work and school
We hold more than bedtime consultation sessions
We are not chili to be written as a recipe and then close the book once the dish is done.
And this is what “Rebel” is about
- She is beautiful hairstyles and more
- She has impeccable taste in good looking men and more
- She is fearlessly learning the tango in predominately male environments
- in a home life with a father and brother to the military to the police force
- She is showing the peculiar walk of being African American in America
- the tightrope performance of being a Woman with self determination
- She speaks the language where
“Im ok”, means terrified
“And I’m good”, means I’m paralyzed
but She makes it look like manicured oak trees on an antebellum tour
8. She’s a mixture of Big Mama with a Ph.D. in Street Knowledge
9. demanding that profit in death precedes her brother, not with or after
- /his slain will not be in vain / this can’t be another Emmett Till / another Medgar Evers / another Oscar Grant
- we now know when we refuse to be silent
10. we shut down freeways! block bucks that drench downtown power
we raise bail money for the forgotten
we move our stories from the page to the stage
from minors to the big leagues
we make everyone Say Her Name
We tittie to mouth our babies at the pews on Sunday and at tea time on Monday
- We hold writers accountable to tell our truths / color our beauty, litter her with life
11. And they show Her allowance in letting Her body being pleased
12. Her occasional leisure in blowing trees to the wind
being a Woman is not a story that is non-fiction and simply closed.
- This show insists we talk about
13. care for the elderly
14. the vulnerability of our Veterans
16. when children become the parents
17. when being black is stronger than blue
18. when being black is stronger than making green
when right is stronger than wrong
19. when persistence forces police lieutenants to make night calls
knocking on doors like parental phone calls after 9pm / humbling
20. We love Rebel because she fights like the race of stretch marks across once raised wombs
She fights like lightening stripes, thunder bolts and tiger claws
She is full of mistakes but not abandoned from perfection.
If you haven’t seen “Rebel” you DO WANT TO BINGE WATCH the series before the finale on Tuesday. The finale is an edge of the seat 60 minute ride! Go to BET.com for episode information.
“Got me / living life like a suicide note found
every morning at 7a.m.
can’t remember anything else but staying steady,
ready / like mother’s equipping
their children with breakfast bars backpacks and dash cams
bang! bang! bang! bang!” – by Nikki Skies for “Rebel Yell”
Click the link and enjoy!
She Chronicles celebrates the feminine narrative through showcasing Her unique vernacular in literary contributions. “Women writing about other women responsibly.”