So yea, these are my weekends. I changed my mind in the studies I am going to pursue so I’m going to get a Masters next May. So you know what that means?… THESIS WRITING!
Saturday night I read and wrote from about 2:30-11pm and Sunday I put in another four hours. The discipline in writing is not the problem. The problem is not reading either. My challenge is using the left side of my brain ALL OF THE TIME! I’m a creative person come on! 😫 But I believe in the research I’m doing for theatre and black women playwrights so I am focused.
When I left the executive management world a few years ago, my goal was simply to find ways to stay creative and keep a roof over my head. This decision also involved me changing my career path in what some might consider, late in the game. After years of making an insanely, wonderful large salary, I began writing on more of a full time basis and substitute teaching in the public school system.
I tell myself the low pay was balanced with the daily rewards of working with young people and seeing them hit a happy plateau when they believed in themselves like I did. I guess I would say my philosophy in teaching was meeting the students exactly where they were and showing them the end goal everyday. And for three years I did just that! I worked with intent and passion, sharing my love for language arts and literature with 3rd and 4th graders. My respect for teachers and administration grew immensely. These are different times our kids are living in! Their access to information (and the lack of information) through the internet is a double edge sword. But I definitely have to say a huge challenge we are facing is the placement of charter schools that do not match the need or function for their perspective communities.
Continue reading I Kept It Simple and True
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”.
Continue reading Re-Establishing my Journey