Still She Rises
By Leadra Reeves
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 published and 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.
During the Girls Write Now workshop on Canva, I was intrigued by the process of merging images with words to make a visual piece even more powerful. I decided to make a Canva 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.
Meet the Pair
MENTEE LEADRA REEVES & MENTOR BAZE MPINJA
Leadra’s Anecdote: When I first met Baze, all of my past assumptions regarding mentorship and it being a formal arrangement disintegrated entirely. Our similar personalities, work ethic, sense of humor, and shared commitment to see each other succeed have drawn us closer. We regularly meet at the public library, where we have designated our own spot; it is a happy medium between the noise and the still silence. We gel so well together that doing work and spending time with her and her contagious smile is never a burden. I am so grateful to have met such an amazing person, mentor, and lifelong friend.
Baze’s Anecdote: Leadra is a smart, multitalented girl—she plays soccer, she performs in her school musicals, and she writes beautiful poems. On top of all that, Leadra received early admission into Brown University and she’ll be starting there this fall. I think the moment that our relationship deepened was the day that she first shared her poetry with me. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Her poems were about heavy topics like police brutality and racial injustice. Talking about her work and those issues was a great bonding experience. I can’t wait to see where Leadra’s talent takes her.
Leadra Reeves is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Brooklyn, NY.