The source material we call “daily life” is full of
parables, psalms, and allegories that have the ability to loosen mental,
emotional and spiritual chains. As Black women, we are alive with histories,
jokes, and life lessons. Monologues sparked by living slide from our lips in
improv fashion during conversation.
Our very imaginations create characters so tangible that
many of us assign these fictitious beings meaning in our lives or model
ourselves after them. From the fierce groundedness of Nana Peazant in “Daughter
of the Dust,” to Celie, Shug and Miss Sophia leaping from the page to the stage
in “The Color Purple,” to the dynamism exhibited in the cast of shows like
“Living Single” and “Girlfriends,” we know that our stories are powerful. Our
lived experiences hold great value. Our voices deserve to be uplifted not just
as sassy sidekicks, keep-it-real homegirls, or enforcing matriarchal figures.
We have the right to show up in books, screens, and stages as whole people.
As Black women, to author our own narratives, folklore, and
accounts of history is to stare disparity squarely in the eyes. When we take up
the pen, keyboard, camera, or director’s chair, we proclaim that we are here,
and that we will craft ourselves for ourselves.
In creating the “Black Womxn Playwright Workshop,”
playwright Mariah Richardson and I co-facilitate a space for the authentic
voices and experiences of Black women like ourselves to stay intact and be