The Future is…Hannah Eko

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This past summer I hosted a workshop on women of color: creativity and self-care. I decided to reach out to good friend/fellow writer, Hannah Eko. Eko has done amazing work on the issues of self-love/body positivity/mental health. I knew she would have some fabulous advice for attendances. So, I was thrilled when she agreed to an interview.  I thought I would share with y’all as well 🙂

Hi Hannah! Tell us about yourself/background…

I’m a Nigerian woman who was born in London and mainly grew up in Southern California. I’m the oldest of four. I’m also an Aries with a Gemini Moon and Ascendant in Aquarius. I served in the Coast Guard for 8 years and was Miss Tall International 2014. Currently, I’m a third year MFA in Fiction student at the University of Pittsburgh.

I first met you at a zine event. Why did zines resonate with you? In your debut zine, The Weather up Here is Great! you write about your experiences as a tall Black woman. Why was it important for you to tell this story?

I grew up reading TONS of magazines as a kid/teen. I went to this after-school center. The site leader, Cristina, would gift me all her magazines. I read Teen, CosmoGurl, YM (my fave back then), Teen People, and Seventeen. I had adolescent dreams of being some kind of model-writer person, but obviously wasn’t really seeing too many models that looked like me. Nor was I always interested in the banalities covered within the articles. So, when I moved to Portland, Oregon, I was really looking for something to express myself. I somehow luckily got wind of your Black Women Zine Group and immediately loved it. I loved how with zines, anyone could create what they want and share their unique vision with the world. I loved the creativity and the community. I had a lot of insecurity about being taller than the average woman. So, zines were the perfect place to write about this. I wanted other tall girls to know that they were gorgeous the way they were. Of course, I wanted to tell myself this as well. My experience being a tall woman is multi-layered and a lot less straightforward than I was seeing presented. I wanted to at least showcase my own point of view.

You’ve been published in various magazines (Bust, Bitch, etc.) Did you always want to be a writer? How do you stay passionate about writing? Are there any writing tips you can give to folks? 

I always wanted to be a writer, though I had absolutely no idea how one “became” a writer. I honestly thought you were just kind of discovered (a nod to my modeling dreams, I’m sure.) First I was into drawing, probably around age 4 or 5. And then writing soon followed. I love writing because it helps me make sense of the world. It’s a way I talk with myself, it’s a way that my thoughts become crystallized and I can sit back and be like, wow, so that’s what I think. Writing allows me the room to create whatever I want to see. Though I have many interests and extra-curriculars, writing is the one thing that has been a constant. I sometimes get frustrated with my own progress and fearful of the fast pace of the market and all these new, sparkling writers. However, I will forever love writing. I don’t really have to push myself to be passionate about it. I’m a constant journal writer, so I am always writing. I think my only suggestion is the piece of advice I am doing my best to live out, which is: write from your deepest self. Let go of ego and awards and fame and being clever and cute. Write fucked up things. Write things that make you cringe and propel you to go deeper. Write the thing you most want to see.

Continue reading “The Future is…Hannah Eko”

Advertisements

summer eating #3

“this is only for the grown and sexy people…”

Well, you don’t necessarily need to be sexy, but you do need to be grown. This recipe combines two of my guilty pleasuresanything fried and tequila. I love the simplicity of the recipe. Perfect adult snack for a summer evening with friends or alone. heh.

Deep-fried tequila shots

“Only five steps separate you from deep-fried boozy bliss. First: make an angel food cake (or, you know, buy one). Next, cube it up into poppable bites. After that, soak each cake cube in tequila, then deep-fry the cubes in oil until they’re golden on all sides. Finally, sprinkle your shots with powdered sugar. Placing them all in an actual salt-rimmed shot glass is up to you, as is deep-frying the worm.”  Recipe from: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/deep-fried-tequila-shots-recipe-by-oh-bite-it

Wow. Life is good 🙂

 

Happy Summer!!

“Summer, summer, summertime / Time to sit back and unwind”

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

I can’t believe it’s almost July. I am currently visiting family in the south during these summer months. So, I will be hella busy. However, before I truly bounce for a summer break… I wanted to peek in and share my summer plans.

1) Television-I am normally not a big television watcher. I think it’s too time consuming. However, being back in my hometown I have found myself doing a lot of TV watching. It’s too damn hot/humid to be running around outside. I am looking forward to CBS’s “Zoo” movie. I was shocked by the movie’s declaration “there are 7 billion humans, but over 100 billion animals.” Wow, we are screwed.

ZOO41CS20R1-promos_1280x720_436064835652_549312_640x360

2) Books- This summer I have decided to be practical and not bog myself down with a huge reading list. I am going to take my time and focus on one book only. I have decided to read Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s “Balm.” I became an immediate fan of Perkins-Valdez after reading her debut novel “Wench.” The book was a fascinating read about Black women’s lives during slavery. I believe the author is in current talks to have the book made into a movie. I can’t wait!

51CqxKcIqpL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

3) Music-No she didn’t! Only Janet Jackson (JJ) can disappear for almost 8 years and drop a nice tune out of the blue. I watched some clips from the BET Music Awards show and Ms. JJ still looks great. I wish her well with her new release and tour. While Madonna often gets labeled the queen/ icon of pop music, I believe this title really belongs to JJ. Her music stands the test of time and she’s not as annoying as Madonna with her culture vulture/blackface mugging…yeah, I said it.

janet-jackson-no-sleep1

4) Politics– Ho, hum. It’s the summer of election campaigns. Bush? Clinton? Is this 1995 again? I thought the selection of President Obama was supposed to bring about change. The candidates are richer, whiter, and boring as ever. At this point, I am more interested in third-party contenders. Both the Republicans and Democrats have pretty become the same party. I want to hear/see new radical voices/faces…particularly women of color candidates (I nominate Bree Newsome 🙂 I advise folks to stay away from these draining campaigns until early January. Majority of these folks aren’t going to last until the end of the year anyway. And they are just going to ruin your summer fun…

Image by Rebecca Cohen
Image by Rebecca Cohen

I wish everyone a happy and safe summer. I will return in late September 🙂

Mad Max: Fury Road

Recently, I was at a relative’s house flipping TV stations and came across Mad Max 2: Road Warrior. Despite the movie being over 30 years old, despite the fact I’ve watched it a million times and despite the fact we’ve come to learn that Mel Gibson is a racist/sexist/homophobic privileged white dude…I still found myself sucked into the action and drama. Of course, there’s renewed interest in this iconic film with the release of Mad Max: Fury Road.

madmaxfuryroad

I have no interest in seeing this film at the theater. I will wait until it hits Netflix or Redbox. I don’t even know the guy playing the main character and I tend to be meh towards Charlize Theron.  And once again, a film about the future not predominantly featuring folks of color wrecks my nerves. I can give a pass to the original 30-year-old film, but in 2015 there should have been more of an effort to have a diverse cast. It’s a known fact folks of color will dominate within a matter of 5-10 years, so contemporary sci-films that gloss over that fact usually get the side eye from me.

Remember the video by 2pac giving homage to the Mad Max tale? It was fun to see all those black folks getting their warrior style on. I will leave you with this classic jam. Happy Friday!! 🙂

On Abuse, Consent, & Life After Childhood Sexual Abuse

Trigger Warning….

hoodfeminism

I’m so sick of talking about Lena Dunham. I’m even sicker of talking about what’s wrong with white feminists. Feel free to read any missing backstory here on how those things intersect for this piece.  It’s a lot to rehash & really the Google machine exists for a reason. But, people keep asking me about why I am not on the “Lena’s being maligned unfairly” bandwagon. And no, it’s not about my personal distaste for her work. I don’t like it, I’m probably not going to like it. I’ve long since accepted it’s not for people like me. And I have a long running policy of mostly ignoring it & by extension her because I don’t find “ironic hipster racism” funny or quirky or whatever it is that people are going to tell me her schtick is. That’s life. I don’t like Sarah Silverman, Lisa Lampanelli or a dozen other…

View original post 1,356 more words

Walking Without Papers at ASU, The “New American University”

The wave of the future…

tressiemc

It has been an eventful news cycle for Arizona State University.

Last week they announced a partnership with Starbucks employee’s that went from press release to critical analysis in about 48 hours. I chimed in with a few thoughts on a public college extracting revenue from Starbucks employees. It turns out that the public university will invest more in the partnership than Starbucks, who can ostensibly afford it.

This week the university billing itself as the “New American University” is back in the news with a more personal story about class (and race and gender). ASU campus police arrested professor Ersula Ore for jaywalking on a campus street. You can watch the video here:

Folks are circulating petitions, expressing outrage and support. This being the Internet, more than a few folks are also making the case in support of the campus police. You’ll find plenty of questions and…

View original post 861 more words

Here, A Hypocrite Lives: I Probably Get It Wrong On Leslie Jones But I Tried

real talk…

tressiemc

I want badly to get this right. That, of course, means that there is no way humanly possible for me to get this right.

I want to get this right for the usual reasons. I want Twitchy and professional feminists and black nationalists and the identity police and FOX news ambassadors to stay out of my comment section. I also want to get this right because I spent a fair amount of time this week explaining to mostly non-black academic labor organizers why they are nowhere near adept or oppressed enough to use slavery metaphors.

Then, too, this is the week that Miley Cyrus called me old for publicly ruminating on her adoption of a specific kind of black female affect in a capitalist beauty structure where chicks like me stay losing, even when we’re paid to dance like we’re winning.

And, Miley’s is some of the nicest criticism of…

View original post 2,472 more words