In 2021, I began working with the Acres of Ancestry Initiative/Black Agrarian Fund (a multidisciplinary, cooperative nonprofit ecosystem rooted in Black ecocultural traditions and textile arts) to provide language for the Griots of Cotton, Indigo, & Clay: Fiber Arts & Earth Based Crafts Exhibit, in addition to interviewing fiber artists to aid in the development of bios for their website.
For more details, visit www.acresofancestry.org
They Grow the Fruit is a fictional narrative set in a historical era of slavery in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. It depicts the narrative of Millie, an enslaved African woman who is torn between the feelings of complacency, defeat, and a desire to live a purpose-driven and free life. Millie experiences a series of soul shattering events that challenge her ability to cope with grief, leading her to resist her conditions in magical and subversive ways. This narrative raises the question of how to remain whole in a toxic environment, highlighting themes of ancestral memory and Transcendentalism. To build upon Black feminist thought principles and the power of the Black radical imagination, I hope to drive this narrative further by creating new possibilities for the enslaved African women in my story to be transported into the future.
I often find myself living in between the veil of multiple truths and realities. This is mostly expressed through my travels in the dream realm, but also in my commitment to traditional African belief pathways. For years, I have kept a log of my dream adventures, and finally felt compelled to chronicle them in the form of a consistent narrative. The Deep Seer explores the journey of a woman living out a perpetual dream, and eventually confronts the myth of reality by making a choice to become the master of her make believe. This narrative is written in third person and blurs the construct of time.
In support of Bria Lauren’s Solo Exhibition at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Gold Was Made Fa’ Her: a visual poem dedicated to Black women in the hood, I wrote the summary of the exhibition that was displayed on the main wall and have the unique opportunity to produce the essay for the forthcoming catalogue/photo book. Bria welcomed me to assist in curating the programming for the exhibit, in which we hosted a Saturday Service entitled: Clean Up Woman: Honoring the House of the Womb, on October 23, 2021. I facilitated The Word, an interactive conversation with Black women dedicated to unpacking our womb stories passed down through the bloodline of our mothers.
In 2021, I graduated from Mills College in Oakland, CA, with a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. My thesis was entitled, Eyes Around My Heart, which laid the foundation for a memoir that explores the tension housed within the relationship between my father and I. The process of writing this narrative was extremely difficult and presented the need to navigate the relationship further before making it visible to the public.
In 2021, nine of my short stories were published in an anthology featuring Black women writers surrounding themes of motherhood, the pandemic, race, and living in America. It was quite the blessing to share my reflections within the communal tradition of sister circles. At the end of our 9 week journey, an organization in Oakland, CA (Healthy Black Families) published our writings in an anthology. Our book is available for purchase on Amazon.