and yes, I know I’m late as hell. But, things get hectic sometimes. I’ve been busy with work and other projects. I also attended two amazing conferences. I shared before about getting a scholarship to go to the AWP Conference & Bookfair. The AWP is a literary event featuring well known and up and coming writers. As someone who deems herself a writer, it was nice being in a space with other nerdy folks. Hey, most writers tend to be quirky people, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The highlights of the conference: “Come Celebrate With Me” : Women of Color Writers and Literary Lineage, and Safe Writing Spaces: Building Community Through Literary Advocacy workshops. The Come Celebrate With Me… women of color authors offered great advice for new writers. In particular, to “be vulnerable, be honest, and take risks.” The Safe Writing Space…session featured Renee Watson. Watson is originally from my city, and has written a best selling young adult novel. She is also the founder of I, Too Arts Collective. The non-profit encourages people from marginalized communities to write/be creative.
Watson and other great writers, talked about the importance of not just creating a safe space, but a “brave space” for writers of color. The need to make sure participants feel seen/heard, providing community norms/agreements, and empowerment. I also attended the wonderful workshop “We Are Our Own Gods: Writing for Black Women’s Liberation.” The speakers consisted of writers from the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. I talk about their book in this video.
The members from the collective uplifted Black women writers. They stated that “vulnerability can be a path to liberation,” don’t be afraid of the early draft,” and “think about who is shaming us?” The last comment speaks to how mainstream society seeks to oppress Black women by making us feel bad about ourselves, while at the same time exploiting/commodifying our bodies/beauty/talents. The members also noted that Black women should be open to writing about a variety of things, exploring beyond the binary/whiteness. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the conversation.
and I know I’ve been MIA. I’ve been busy with work, parenting, and just living life. I hope the new year has been treating everyone good so far. It’s hard to believe it’s March and spring will soon be upon us. Thank goodness. I am done with winter 🙂 I’m going to make a better effort to keep up the blog. However, I’ve been indulging more in my video editing skills with my YouTube channel. If you want to keep up with my latest shenanigans..check me out on that platform. I have included my most recent video below.
The biggest thing I’m looking forward to this month, is attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference. It’s being hosted for the first time in my city. The AWP is considered one of the largest literary conferences in the country. I received a scholarship to attend, and I’m sooo excited! The thought of all those books, writers, and workshops in one spot makes me shiver. Yes, I’m a book nerd at heart. I plan to share about my experience…so keep an eye out!
I’m a bit late posting this, but thought I would share anyway. Last weekend, I attended Arkansas’s first comic/sci-fi/pop culture convention. Spa Con. Being a lover of science fiction, you know I had to go. I took my little one along for the ride. The event was decent. It will probably get better as the new convention gets more national attention, vendors, etc. They also need to upgrade their folks of color representation. We love alternative worlds too!! However, for the most part, I had a decent time. And the event was an appetizer for the celebration of Black Speculative Fiction Month…which is in October 🙂
The Schomburg Center is proud to present “In the Tradition: An Intergenerational Dialogue on Progressive Activism and Black America,” a dialogue between actor, author, and activist Harry Belafonte and Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, Professor of Political Science at Tulane University, MSNBC Host and author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America on the tradition of black activism, the role of activist intellectuals, the critical lessons of past movements and the challenges of organizing in the twenty-first century. How has the landscape for social justice become more complicated? What are the responsibilities of the black community to its advocates in times of attack?
Join us for an enlightening conversation to be moderated by Dr. Jelani Cobb.
I would like to say thank you to the Regional Arts & Culture Council for selecting me to receive a Professional Development Grant. The grant gave me the opportunity to fly to Atlanta to attend the Blogalicious Conference. Strangely, as much as I like to travel, I had never visited Atlanta before. It’s an amazing city. I now understand why my friend’s boyfriend said one needs at least a month in the ATL to see everything. The three days I was there, I barely scratched the surface of things to do:
The Blogalicious Conference was interesting. It definitely attracts well-rounded, educated, professional, and ambitious women of color bloggers/entrepreneurs. It was amazing to see so many of these women under one roof. The attendees were people who had attended the conference over the years (Blogalicious was celebrating its fifth year anniversary). So, the majority of folks knew each other. It had a sorority type vibe, which I tend not to do well in. It was a bit awkward for me. Folks were polite, but it helped if you had a couple of other women to kick it with. I attended the conference alone. Perhaps the conference organizers could think about dedicating one day (or the mornings sessions or whatever) to newbies to the conference. I know that some other huge conferences tend to do this as a way to support new attendees. Other than that, I would recommend this conference to WOC who are interested in learning how to promote their blogs/brand their work:
The best part of the trip was getting a chance to see relatives living in Atlanta. It felt good to relax and hangout with them:
I had some free time so I went to a lecture at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture. I got a chance to see artist James Eugene. Eugene paints futuristic images of black folks/sometimes other folks of color. He shared with the audience his creative process/why it’s important to show futuristic images of black folks. His artwork is detailed and eye-catching:
Overall, I had a good trip to Atlanta. I can’t wait to go back and do more exploring 😉
This past spring, I won a grant to attend the Blogalicious conference. I can’t believe it’s just next week! It seemed so far away. I am looking forward to the conference. It’s an opportunity to travel, learn some new things, and meet up with family. If I am not feeling overwhelmed/lazy, I will post a video(s) from my time there, or at least blog. I wish I knew about the event, last year. The conference was held in Las Vegas. I would’ve hit up the slot machines. 😉