“…The voice in your head silently tells you to take your foot off your throat because just getting along shouldn’t be an ambition.”—Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
Are You Ready To Tell A Story You Don’t Really Know?
It is 1971. Brown people are changing; we wear Afros, Dashikis, and speak boldly. He is one of those truth tellers—my hero and 27-year-old uncle, Paul. His silencing came too early. With crisp clarity, facts surrounding his murder check off as if items on a grocery list:
- Paul goes to work at the Main Post Office in Washington, D.C.
- He disagrees with his boss.
- At the end of his shift, Paul and his buddy leave work and head to the car.
- The boss follows them out of the building to the parking lot.
- The boss shoots Paul and his buddy.
- The buddy lives.
- Paul dies.
- The boss doesn’t spend a day in jail nor are charges filed to prosecute.
A memory lingers of a black and white photo from a newspaper clipping showing my grandmother’s bewildered face after discovering Paul’s covered body at the scene. This hushed narrative lives in my family. I was ten years old at the time and a keen observer of what adults did around me. What seems familiar and grounded in our family forever changes us. Over the years, I ask my mother to share more of the story; she reluctantly tells puzzle pieces, as if I am still ten years old. This incomplete story burns in my body. Today, I have a 27-year-old son. My mother sees her brother’s face in the eyes of my son. I work at releasing my daily anxiety for his life; I don’t want to call in the energy of this kind of despair, realizing a Black Man’s life in 2018 is as worthless as it has always been. And I recognize the power of grappling with a story depicting the complexity of motherhood and racism while living in a misogynistic, heteronormative and cisgender culture. I want to write this story. But I am afraid. So I do it anyway.
If you find there is a story you must tell—about your experiences, fears, successes, and realities, then this writing community is for you. As women of color, many of us have inherited an ideology that our vulnerable stories of experience must remain silenced to keep peace in the family or among peers, to do good under God, or to forgive and forget. What we miss is how our story may be a liberating narrative for our personal growth and other women. When we hold back our collective silence, it attacks our hearts, stresses into dis-ease, and passes along a legacy of suffering between ourselves and the women and girls behind us. We emerged from these silenced stories, and they deserve to be a part of the discourse in our society.
A compelling narrative awaits you. It might take shape as a poem, an essay, an article, the beginning of a book or a scholarly paper. This writing community for Women of Color can support you by:
- Providing a safe container where language, customs, and shared experiences of oppression and silencing are acknowledged, heard, and validated as real and relevant to your being and your writing;
- Tapping into your creativity through experiential activities and lessons that expand your mindset and prompt your writing;
- Sharing a strengths-based feedback process on new/raw writing and,
- Reading, discussing, and learning from texts written by women of color who become teachers to help shape our work.
Our community allows for time to write together, and time to write alone. The retreat location offers ample space to enjoy indoors or outside to relax and write. Creative, Expressive, and Truth-telling Narratives Writing Community welcomes those identifying as Women of Color: Black and African American, Latina, Asian, Native American/First People, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Mixed-race; women who have lived in spaces of invisibility and discrimination because of her color.
We have a limited number of spaces for this type of writing community so reserve your spot today!
Starts: Friday, May 4, at 2:00 p.m. Ends: Sunday, May 6, at 2:00p.m.
Fees: Fees include tuition, meals, snacks, and a private room.
- $697 early bird rate, through Friday, March 16, 2018;
- $897 after March 16th
- Registration closes Friday, April 20th
- Make your reservations by clicking here: https://www.picatic.com/writingcommunity
Questions: Please feel free to contact Kathleen Brown at [email protected]
Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams, MA-TLA runs Narratives for Change, a socialpreneur practice whose mission is to utilize spoken and written storytelling to connect the personal, the artistic, and the system, creating pathways for women and girls to advocate for herself and others. Yvette is a writer and educator using her narrative-based platform to cultivate personal leadership skills, build culture change strategies, and advance artistic development. Yvette has authored essays, book chapters, and articles in Practising Social Change, The OD Practitioner Journal, Anchor Magazine, Tamara Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, Changing the World With Words: A Transformative Language Arts Reader, Teaching Transformation, and she is completing a book of essays, Complicated Truths: Emerging as Leader of a Whole Life to be published in 2018. Yvette can be reached at [email protected]
Presented by Kathleen Brown Coaching
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