Each week throughout February, we’ll be sharing stories and events from our community and our partners that honor Black joy, art, writing, culture and history!
All events below are virtual and open to the public.
- Washington Post Opinion: Take it from a high schooler who’s actually learned about CRT: Adults need to chill out, by Mentee Christiane Calixte
- Black Art & Writing: A Story Collection from Girls Write Now
- Self Care with 5 Girls Write Now Artists
- 12 Spellbinding Books by Black Teaching Artists
- Inheritance: A project about American history, Black life, and the resilience of memory, The Atlantic
- “BLK History Month,” by Nikki Giovanni, Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea (HarperCollins Publishers, 2002) via Poetry Foundation
- The ZORA Canon: The 100 greatest books ever written by African American women
- 8 Black History Month Writing Prompts, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“exist(ing)” by Mentee Lena Habtu
My piece was inspired by an article in ZORA, a publication by and for women of color, entitled “Black Women Are Driving a New R&B Resistance” by Mary Retta. Black women’s identities have been degraded for so long that attempts to uplift us, we’re portrayed as deities instead of human.
“Still She Rises” by Mentee Alum Leadra Reeves
I was intrigued by the process of merging images with words to make a multimedia piece even more powerful. I decided to make a visual story about four poets who are meaningful to me. After I chose the writers I wanted to feature, I decided to use purple as the most significant color in each of their pages because in my eyes, purple is a regal shade and all of these Black women are queens in their own right. In the Girls Write Now tributes workshop, we learned about research, and I used that skill to analyze each poet and their work. All in all, I enjoyed creating “Still She Rises” because it differs from typical art forms. With this multimedia piece, I was able to tell a significant story with just a few words and memorable visual content.
Being a woman and Black poet myself who is proud of my heritage and background, I felt inclined to dedicate a piece to that part of me. I incorporated four groundbreaking poets in my piece to spotlight a few writers that inspired me to pursue poetry. Although many of them have passed, their words still linger and have left a lasting impression on the world today. This hypnotic effect each poet has with their powerful writing inspired me to include myself at the end of the piece, not only because I can see myself in each one of them, but also because I aspire to make such an imprint on the nation with just a look and listen to the freedom of the rhythm of my verses one day.
“Dedicated to my Natural Hair” by Mentee Alum Jayola Reid
My video conveying the significance of natural hair is one that I consider necessary for everyone to watch. Black women’s natural hair has sadly been discriminated against since the beginning of time, making it important for everyone to see the beauty in it. A black woman’s hair is unique and versatile in all forms and every texture is gorgeous! The images portrayed in this video depict that. If that were not enough, listen to the words spoken on the realization of how amazing it is to be natural!
I wrote a letter to my natural hair because I recognized that I was dealing with some deeply engrained self-hate issues regarding it. I came to the realization that I had been brainwashed to think that my hair made me less attractive or that it was not appropriate in a professional workspace. This was due to European beauty standards that society has always pressured me to live up to. I decided to start appreciating my natural curls and wanted all of the other girls of color to do the same.
- The Great Unlearn, a project founded by Girls Write Now champion Rachel Cargle, has curated a free, 4-week program for learners aged 9-12 called “Do The Work for Young Learners” in celebration of Black History Month 2022. Head to The Great Unlearn on Instagram for more insightful, educational content.
- Race Women on Instagram is an archive research project honoring nineteenth century Black feminist trailblazers founded by Maya Millett, a Girls Write Now mentor alum and co-chair of the Girls Write Now anthology committee. Maya is an independent nonfiction writer, editor and audio producer.
Have recommendations for us to feature? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Black History Month.”
Girls Write Now stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and the intersectional coalition of artists, activists and organizations fighting for justice. For over two decades, we have dedicated our mission to breaking down the barriers of race and poverty to elevate the voices of girls and gender nonconforming youth who are too often not heard—or worse, silenced. When our young writers share their stories, they have the power to change minds, heal communities, and impact the world.
At Girls Write Now, we commit to continue our efforts—working together both internally and externally—to make a better future for our Black and Brown communities.