“I’m Every Woman...It’s All In Me”: Creating Space for HERStory
Photo: Courtesy of Nappy.co | IG : @theoptimistdreamer
When you can channel both your inner Chaka and Whitney at the same damn time because the all-encompassing essence of a woman is something truly glorious! YAS. Though Ms. Chaka Khan came through first in 1978 with this disco ladies anthem and Whitney put her own flava on the track for The Bodyguard Soundtrack in 1992, it still doesn’t take away anything from how both these powerhouse icons individualized this song. They both told their own musical story to celebrate how beautifully multi-faceted a woman can be in meeting every need!
Thinking about how this song highlighted different every day women, I thought about the importance of having consistent and honest representation of the everyday narratives of Black and Brown women across all forms of the entertainment industry. Personally, I’m tired of seeing JUST the struggle, which is often times very stereotypical and sometimes only half of what our narratives truly reflect, be mainstreamed while the other magic moments of our power are left muted. I’d be remised in not giving ALL credit to the TV/Film/Theatre/Poetry heavy-hitters like Ava Duvernay, Issa Rae, Shonda Rhimes, Dominique Morisseau, Suzan Lori-Parks, Katori Hall, Zora Neale Hurston, Mari Evans, Ntozake Shange, Lydia Diamond, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, and MANY more for bringing these multi-dimensional, vibrant Black and Brown women characters to life in their work BUT just as these women have made it their duty to consistently show Black womanhood in ALL its glory, that flame must not dwindle as we move forward in showing the 2018 Black and Brown woman.
Recently, I’ve channeled my inner “special brew” to take the torch as a young Black woman creative to create space in my own community for other women of color to take ownership of and celebrate their beautiful stories. Throughout my journey in 2017 of figuring out what kind of theatre creative I wanted to be based off recent experience and growth, it was important for me to focus first on my never-changing identity as a Black woman. I wanted to make sure that nothing would upstage my duty and passion to always advocate for and unapologetically represent myself and other women who look like me. I did not want to wait until I gained blessings of creating on Broadway or Hollywood to produce work of value NOW in my community for those who have an emergent need to see themselves NOW in their environment.
Soooo, that’s when the idea hit me of wanting to create a reading series where local WOC writers and playwrights bring worthy light to the tenacious stories that cultivate the Black womanhood experience right in the community of the 937, DYT, The Gem City (and any other name, lol) that has made me... and with prayers of expansion and prosperity across this world in communities that NEED to heal through the art of theatre.
Without further ado, I’m excited to finally announce...
Scripted in Black: A Woman of Color Reading Series
SIB, for short, is an intimate + performative reading series showcasing works from local WOC writers and playwrights that is curated around a monthly theme. There will include a Sister Chat to end each reading of the gathering. I believe that it’s important to keep authentic conversations alive around our experience to foster healing and genuine sisterhood amongst one another. The series will be offered in a seasonal format of Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
I hope you will join me on this journey of SIB rather it’s in the form of attending, spreading the word, or contributing your works as an interested writer (if interested send me a personal message here).
So, please do me a BIG favor and go follow Scripted in Black on IG @scriptedinblack and also like our Scripted In Black page on Facebook! There you’ll find out more info as we gear up for our Spring/Summer season with the FIRST GATHERING happening in APRIL that you won’t want to miss.
I hope that SIB empowers you as we lift up OUR WORDS, OUR STORIES: #SCRIPTEDINBLACK!
Keep It Simple,