Sunday, August 21, 2016

En Route to Africa Part II: What Lies Ahead

As the dream gets closer and closer to fruition, romantic drawings continue to past my time-- in between speech practicing.
Black Portraiture [s] III: Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures schedule is officially up.
Big names like Henry Louis Gates (host of PBS's Finding Your Roots), Misan Sagay (writer of Amma Asante's Belle), Julie Dash (writer/director Daughters of the Dust), artists Lyle Ashton Harris, Zanele Muholi, Alison Janae Hamilton, Rashaad Newsome, and others are attending and presenting. Panels entitled Imaging the Black Female Body, I dream in colour”: Imagining and dreaming as subversive postcolonial masquerading strategies in the visual artworks of South African women-of-colour visual artists Mary Sibande and Senzeni Marasela and Venus on my Back, Girls of Color, Inheritance and the Hottentot Venus Narrative are among primary interests. Post-conference receptions will be held at the renown Goodman Gallery and MOMO/MoCada. 
This is major.
Excitement has boiled. My GoFundMe has been fully funded. Everything is almost booked.
I made a couple of mistakes including debating whether to add an extra hotel day (my plane arrives in Johannesburg at 11:30PM on Tuesday evening though my hotel reservations are set for Wednesday), purchasing air shuttle service (why did I think this was complimentary), among countless random little preparations.
Hardest part seems over.

Dreamy, romantic pencil and watercolor sketches feature Yinka Shinobare inspired fabrics. These are a metaphor for my truest, deepest feelings within about this upcoming travel.
I would be lying if failing to mention doubt or fear brewing inside. November is around the corner, sneaking up on fragile piece of mind. I know my words are worthy. That they need to be heard. My drawings and paintings want to be seen by this audience, this audience that will surely carry me through the course of my future-- brimming in African/African American rooted study. That future burns hot with hopes of further pursuing educational hierarchy and other opportunities to present papers-- whether these papers are research based, creative writing, or poetry. I believe that this is the beginning of a rather profound journey. Why let discouragement rue my thoughts?
In the meantime, a few weeks ago, I had a ball as a guest feature on Stephanie Renee's MOJO-- a Philadelphia based morning-afternoon radio program on 900AM WURD. I discussed Black Portraiture [s], a brief reflection on my paper, and excitement over this upcoming experience with Stephanie, a phenomenal host who sounded just as enthusiastic. This was so great and fun-- a different way of interacting with radio DJ beyond trying to score concert tickets or a free CD. 
For now, I will continue practicing in the mirror. No faltering allowed.
Also, since I also have opportunity to attend panels (before they get booked), I plan to read over each listed and go on from there.....


  1. I'm so happy for you! You have such a beautiful way with words, you have a way of making things beautiful! This will be such an exciting journey for you. Self doubt can cause a lot of damage, it's stopped me from a lot in my life. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you! I'm so thrilled. It's coming up so soon.
      You're right about self-doubt. It can hither happiness. I want my attitude to change accordingly otherwise let uncertainty take over my whole entire being. We can't have that!