On the heels of a snap decision to move to a small “hippie town” called Yellow Springs, Ohio (I’ve been wanting to leave New York for a while now, updates on that coming soon), I’m really excited about the opportunity to totally emerge myself in a culture wehre I feel free to explore it and find my own niche within it. When I visited 7 years ago, I was relieved by the fact that there, you don’t have to look good, you just have to BE good. I’ve always wanted to be admired for my mind, not just my face and body and face. They are equally important to me as a being, but, my face and body have gotten alot of attention in recent years. Now it’s time for people to hear and feel my words. I call this the my Renaissance because I truly feel a shift, a huge transformation in my perspective on the events that happen in my life and where I choose to put my energy.
I have recently decided that I want to be great and make a huge impact on society. I like to do this simply by living, but I want it to be publicized and I wish for it to generate money, material things, wonderful friendships, and “first-time” experiences. I see myself starting trends and calling attention to ones that have already been started, (such as my T.I.T.S. Movement concerning topfreedom).
I would like to to be the first person to have ever done something, and I may have already broken barriers being a Black woman who chronicles her experiences of going topfree shamelessly in a fear based society and getting interviewed for it, and while I am still able to use the high I got from that experience, (especially having the support and presence of those near and dear to me) to laugh through moments as akward and downright creepy as an episode of Awkward Black Girl or The Office a few days later, this accomplishment is still not enough for me.
Not enough people know about the subsection of the American black female population who are intelligent, delicate, sexual, spiritual, articulate, and close to the Earth. Not enough people know about me! When I began studying media and becoming really interesting in filmmaking, I was in high school and took an intro to film class in high school, I remember being bored out of my mind but also disappointed in that we were forced to watch Birth of a Nation by D.W. Griffith. It had nothing to do with my present experience, (or anyone’s if you take the film’s interpretation of reality literally) nor my desired experience, and the filmmaker probably had never considered that a young precocious Black woman like me would have to analyze this film. It was about the slave trade and showed slaves to be less than human, “unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women,” and portrayed “the Ku Klux Klan (whose original founding is dramatized) as a heroic force.” (Source: Wikipedia. Don’t judge me. I actually DO research. More of that to come.) I knew not then what had to be done about this type of propaganda that perpetuates self hatred among even worse, a self denial among Blacks and unnecessary and counterproductive white guilt. I had much earlier mentally checked out of the public “fool” system altogether as early as 5th grade anyway, so I didn’t expect much at that point, but still, I was disenchanted.
Fast forward to college to when I took another film class. We watched movies like Amelie and Nanook of the North, which were more relatable: Amelie’s cuteness on screen and her adventurous nature I could relate too. It wasn’t as heavy. I’ve always felt a connection with the Native Americans too, as my lineage is strewn with them.
I’m not saying the point of every movie is to be relatable. But I am emphasizing the importance of people, especially children, seeing representations of themselves of what they desire to be, on film.
Films are programs, and these images and sounds are downloaded into the brain when one views them. They become ingested by the soul, encrypted in the spirit. The research is there, but I know from personal experience–besides an artful martial arts film, I can’t stand violence, horror, gore, and blood. When I’m sick, it actually makes me feel WORSE! Everything you hear and see affects your health.
I saw many problems in the self image of Black women who were very close to me, and this was only examining my own self hatred. I dealt with my hair and went natural in 2003, I dealt with my fear and fascination of Black men, and started the process of digging up layers of sedimentary hurt and trauma caused by situations with my father and other Black men who I felt harmed me.
I decided I want to undo some of the negative stereotypes of Black women in the media by producing media that showed who some of us truly are, and while we are unique, I hope I’m representing even a bit of you… and I hope the rest of you will give me a pat on the bottom for giving it the old college try.
Speaking of college: I’m going back.
It’s something that will change my life forever and now is the perfect time for me to do it.
“I just decided that I want to be great.”
The above quote was my Facebook status just a few days ago. I was looking at a Youtube video of Oprah speaking about Maya Angelou and her influence on her life. I embody a few characteristics of both. Despite all of the the conspiracy theories I’ve entertained about Oprah and how she got and keeps her position in the media, and Maya Angelou, who’s greatness over the years has been damn near forgotten by many in my generation, I have come to my senses: the positive impact of these women on people’s lives, especially black women who have the added effect of them being someone who looks like them, who they can see themselves, in is undeniable.
They made me see that even though my method of getting attention may never be theirs, I want to impact people’s lives the same way, especially young black women.
Sept. 11th, 2012–Two more high school young women came up to me to inquire why I was topfree. I took pictures at their request, and encouraged them to look at the blog pertaining to my movement. It’s one small thing I could do to inform them that there’s more to this than just what you see, even in my actions.
That is exactly what I want the world to see about them, that you can’t judge them by their looks, or even their actions that you see for a few seconds on a news clip. You certainly shouldn’t take any of the caricatures you see of them on film seriously without doing some reflection on the industry as a whole. And more importantly I would like for them to see this about themselves. This is the reason for the shift: as I give birth to a new me and manifest Goddesshood, they birth a new image of themselves as well. They will realize their dynamism, their potential, the Goddess in themselves. May they have their own re-birth and be inspired to have a Renaissance of their own.