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Celebrating (the Work of) Black Women

Witnessing the Work and Expressions of Black Women.

While the situation in the Ukraine is heavy on our hearts, when the time came to write... something else surfaced, the photo below taken a few years ago in Venice LA prompted a journey through the poetry, writing and songs of Black Women. Too often shuffled to the side we want to take a moment and cross this divide. When freedom is challenged we experience what others have known all too well - the lack of freedom. #BreakingtheBias requires acknowledgement that there is indeed a bias. Today we give space for the work, the voices, the expressions of Black Women to be heard, seen, witnessed.

We shudder at thought of a world without the gifts shared by these activists and artists, even and especially when it makes us uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable illuminates our edges where growth can happen. Notice the biases, be curious, and surrender to the uneasiness, as this is what our Sisters have experienced all too intimately.

Every notable journey has challenges, uncertainties and dangers. There's power in doing it anyway and that's the very thing all these brave women did - they did it anyway, regardless of the judgements, the dangers, the reactions. We cannot shy away from the pain others feel when our actions and inactions have cultivated those very feelings. Today let's celebrate the strength and bravery of these women, which is an invitation to us all.

“Where there is a woman, there is magic.” ~Ntozake Shange

Women = Magic <-> Mystic Peaks Studio
“I am my best work – a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines.” ~Audre Lorde

Still I Rise ~ Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.

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