In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker

I don’t know if I was looking for something in particular when I began reading this book of essays. I had previously been introduced to the creative work of Alice Walker through her book, The Color Purple but landed upon this text when attempting to curate an African feminist syllabus. Little did I know then that as the title of the book suggests, I too would find my literary mother’s garden in the intellectual work of Alice Walker. Going through each essay, I felt like I was communing with my mother,not as a girl or daughter though those two remain to be true but more so as one woman to another about what it means to live a conscientious life in 2019. Tayari Jones in the book An American Marriage perhaps best describes what happened between Zora and me, “Something shadowy and female happened between them, as mysterious and primal as witches brew.” Continue reading In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker

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Too Early For Birds: The Brazen Edition

What do you remember?

As a Historian, a lot of my scholarly work is dictated by the need to remember. To remember the what, the how, the why and more importantly the who. The sad part about history is that more often than not, it is the conqueror’s history that we are made to remember. And this his-tory is often that of the man. But where do the other stories go?

Before watching this play, I had not quite conceived of what it would be like to displace our toxically patriarchal anecdotes of the making of our nation. How do you narrate the story of women when the people that publish their stories only believe in the gospel of men? But never doubt the power of art to do exactly that. So, a huge thanks to the entire team and cast of Too Early for Birds: The Brazen edition for doing exactly that. And a long overdue appreciation to the women we poured libation to. We honor you. And thank you for paving the way for us. Continue reading Too Early For Birds: The Brazen Edition

What is a love story? A Homegoing Review

It seems almost ironic to frame a retelling of a slave story as a love story but there is no other way to describe the full circle healing that comes from reading this book. I had the privilege earlier this year, to sit in an audience and hear the author, Yaa Gyasi, speak to a bunch of decently educated folks about language, representation, and the research process in writing the book. I wanted to ask about her imagination and her soul because surely no amount of research could concoct such feelings. Perhaps she too had her own intergenerational memory, a vessel somewhat of the story of her people. But I didn’t ask because again, it was about language, representation, and the research process. Continue reading What is a love story? A Homegoing Review

WE WANTED A REVOLUTION: BLACK RADICAL WOMEN,1965-85

Our mothers cook up revolutions in their kitchens

They do the things we are still struggling to name ourselves

Feminist-ing… Womanist-ing… Empowering the Girl child

How strong does a person need to be to make meaning out of the meaningless, to make love out of the routine, to create value out of the illegitimate

They just need to be a woman

A black radical woman.

————— Continue reading WE WANTED A REVOLUTION: BLACK RADICAL WOMEN,1965-85

Rotimi

This one did a number on me.

I’m in that stage in life where it is socially acceptable to not know many things. I don’t know if I want to have children. I don’t know if I want to get married. I don’t know where I want to live or what I want to do. Heck, I don’t even know what I want to eat tomorrow. But like the characters in this book, there comes a time when you know the answers to these questions and sometimes the knowing brings pain.

Continue reading Rotimi