Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Workshop recap!

          Last week, I hosted my first workshop at the U. There was a lot going on within the school and the multicultural center where we were hosted, so the attendance wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. All together, we had about half a dozen students attend, and each of them walked away with a short story which they wrote. We had a really fun and satisfying talk about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2009 TedTalk on the danger of a single story and having that story dictated by someone other that ourselves. I'm super excited about our next meeting and the prospect of teaching more workshops in this new year. If you are interested in seeing what some of my students wrote, please keep an eye out for www.centerthemargins.com

I also wrote a little something and though it pains me to share it, I've got to suck it up
So here it goes...
        " I walk. I walk a lot. I walk to get to know my neighborhood. I walk to clear my head and loosen my joints. I walk to get to work. I walk home. When I walk I see the sky, grey and bright, the rhodies, azaleas, and maples budding and taking color.
          When I walked in my old neighborhood in North Portland, I loved seeing my neighbors who look like me, heads covered by scarves or the hoods of their jackets. I haven't felt this since I was home surrounded by my family. I haven't seen my cheekbones, my profile in other people's faces in so long. I also see neighbors who look like my love; fair and sandy haired. Sometimes, I even think, "Damn, this gentrification thing isn't all right but its alright."
          When I walk, people try to talk to me. Boys slow their cars and are all, "Hey Ms Lauryn Hiiiill" Bitterly, I think about how I wish I was Lauryn, so I could cut them to pieces with my words. I am not Lauryn. Men who look like my father, uncles, and grandfathers ask me, "Where you from, honey?" When I walk with my love, these same boys and men give him the side eye, look at him like he's taken something, they try to start something.
          I cannot give them the stink eye strong enough
but I can't speak, or else I'll spit. Spit hate that I only partially feel. What I want to do is have a conversation about their wives, sisters, and daughters.
Sometimes, I just prefer the doe-eyed looks we get from old white couples and yuppies. I can't stand it, but its the less painful of these evils."

Yours truly,

ps. Please let me know before you reproduce this piece in any way

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dominique Christina threw her daughter a period party

          Just thought I'd share the wonderful, powerful Dominique Christina's spoken word piece on the monthly visitor.
Please watch and enjoy! Dominique Christina and her partner in Sister Outsider, Denice Frohman, are an amazing spoken word duo. Check them out!

May your day be filled with pleasant thoughts and good health

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Giving this blog-thing an earnest shot!

Hello, Hi, How are you?

          As the title of this post states, I'm going to give this blogging thing another shot in earnest. I've been reading some wonderful articles written by social activists, women, and people of color ...and what can I say? I feel inspired. Inspired to turn writing from something I do in private to something I can share with the world. It may not be very organized right now, but I am excited to share what is moving me and developing this blog into a platform for my professional, artistic and personal story.

          So one bit of good news to announce; at the end of this week I am teaching the first *official* installment of my writing workshop at the U. From day one of putting this together, I have been passionate about making our writing practice together into something that is truly collaborative. Over the past few weeks as I have been introduced to some of my future students, I can't help but be in awe at their motivation, confidence, commitment to social justice, and, of course, the fieeerce and bold style they put into their work and studies. I am so excited to work with them and read what they create. One of the goals of this workshop is to give the students a chance to create written and video content for their shared blog, www.centerthemargins.com.

          While I'm working on content with the students, I hope to hold myself to a higher standard on this blog and post more regularly. I have waaay too many unfinished posts so I am just going to start again and try to develop some regular features about music, storytelling, films, beautiful photography, and uplifting articles I find in the news or on other blogs.

Story Tellers
Anyone close to me knows how much I love listening to podcasts like the Moth, The New Yorker's Fiction podcast, Selected Shorts, This American Life and all its spinoffs. Listening to people's stories, whether creative or biographical, I can really related to their struggles, foibles, and fears...it makes me confident that there is some shared human experience that bind us. This week, I really enjoyed listening to cartoonist Matt Diffee's telling of his first submission to the New Yorker's cartoon contest and the struggles of young adulthood

What Am I Listening to?
Well, it would be an understatement to say that I am "into" the great tunes of the 90's and early 2000's. Currently, I've been really into Tamia, especially her song "So Into You"

          Finally, I am linking up with my old classmate's blog, Renaissante. In the brief period of time Olivia and I were in school together, it was clear that she was a beautiful, confident woman and I am so pleased to see what she has been working on. She and her blogging partner, Jenn, have put together what they are calling the "28 Day Self Love Challenge." Though I am a bit late in the game, I am going to blogalong with their prompts and topics and describe how they resonate with me... starting tomorrow morning!

Until then, 
Good night and take care of yourself