Laylah Amatullah Barrayn curated this exhibit at the Restoration Plaza’s Skylight Gallery– “Her Word As Witness: Women Writers of the African Diaspora.” Yep. Amazing.
So Laylah asked me to be a part of the show. After hearing who else she had lined up to photograph, I spent the better part of my photo shoot trying to show her my publications. I call myself a writer and all, but really, I know some women who’ve put in a quarter of a century doing this work. I tried to name some others who should be a part of this show, but Laylah was good. She had her women folk lined up and she knew exactly what she wanted to convey.
And it was a fine mix of both emerging and established writers, newbies and elders. Fiction writers, poets, journalists, magazine editors, bloggers. Laylah made us look spectacular. I mean, we’re already fabulous, but each woman was portrayed with a certain je ne sai quois. Whatever ancestor/spirit guided our thoughts and words shone through in each of our images. And Laylah was able to capture that.
Certainly, there needs to be a part 2, 3, and 4. So many of us. And black women writers hardly get this sort of attention. Singers, actresses, models, socialites, yes. But writers, no so much. This showed that we can be sensual and gorgeous while being super duper smart. And I’d like to see an exhibition like this for black women dancers/choreographers. How about corporate execs, teachers, hairdressers, hotel workers, nannies, black women cops? Now that would be tremendous.
The exhibition will be on view until March 31st at the Skylight Gallery in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
Here are some photos I took from the lovely opening on December 1st:
Here’s a great slide show put together by the folks over at Bed-Stuy Patch.o