Tag Archives: Essay

Women Artists Who Dared to Create From A Room Of Their Own


I want to  dedicate this post to all women, irregardless of whether they’ve been written up in the pages of history books. Women, by their mere existence, create history that is unforeseen and untold every single day that they live and breathe~ so for all women, let me say, Happy Women’s History Month!

The novelist,George_Charles_Beresford_-_Virginia_Woolf_in_1902 Virginia Woolf wrote in her famous essay, A Room  of One’s Own, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Viewed in a broader sense, the essay could reference any author’s need for poetic license and the personal liberty to create their art.

The artists I’ve chosen to honor for Women’s History Month, in essence, created from a room of their own. The “room” for the most part were of their own choosing, but sadly, one  young girl had no say in the literal sense.  Nonetheless, these women (and many more) craved out an impressive body of creative works that became a historical legacy.

1f30f05d-b3d0-4f97-a720-e238d5d018f7-originalMaya Angelou had me at I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. She was brutally raped as a little girl and only shared this secret with her brother, Bailey. When her uncles found out, the molester was killed. Maya did not speak for 5 years, blaming herself for the molester’s murder.

7f3df4e8-d3f7-31df-921d-cc3810d0eed7ANNA 13-year-old Jewish victim of the Holocaust… Anne Frank went into hiding from the Germans with her family and another family for two years in a small annex above the office where her father once worked. It’s reported that Anne, her mom and sister died in the concentration camps and only her father would survive to publish her diary, written while in hiding. 

Anne wrote in her diary that she wished her writings to live on in life. How prophetic her words were.

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thnikkiNikki Giovanni has often been called a “Revolutionary” poet. All I know is her writing are often based on fact and it is those poems that touches the sensibilities of a nation of readers, including myself. A prolific writer, activist and highly guarded educator, Ms. Giovanni is currently a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.

My very favorite of her many works includes: Those Who Ride The Night Winds, poems about the mass murders of young black boys in Atlanta totaling more than 29 young children killed. Ms. Giovanni poems, in my opinion, are a loving eulogy to the memory of those children.  thIf you haven’t read any of Nikki Giovanni’s work, you are missing out on one of our greatest literary contributors.

220px-Pearl_Buck I read Pearl S. Buck’s, The Good Earth in High School. The book introduced me to another culture and people with a different way of living. Although American, Ms. Buck lived in China for a while and associated with Chinese culture and tradition. I was impressed by the humanity of The Good Earth as it relates to a country’s change affecting regular people.

51zRzieodBL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Ms. Buck died in 1973, but her Pulitzer prize novel lives on. 

In another life, I opt to come back as Lorraine Hansberry! Not only was she the first African-American woman playwright, she was the first woman of color to have a play produced on Broadway! A Raisin in the Sun was inspired by Poet Langston Hughes poem, Harlem that asks, ” What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the Sun?”

Ms. Hansberry’s play would later inspire Nina Simone’s song, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black!” You know what they say, “The Play’s The Thing.” Lorraine Hansberry was the “ish” and sadly, gone too soon… The playwright died of pancreatic cancer in 1965. Sheer Brilliance!

Here’s a special clip for y’all 🙂

And:

thtoni Toni Morrison’s-The Bluest Eye,Tar Baby, Song of Solomon, Beloved and Sula.

thzora Zora Neale Hurston’s  “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Their_Eyes_Were_Watching_God_us

thalice When Alice Walker was a little girl, she was playing in the backyard with her brothers, one of whom accidentally hit her in the eye with one of the pellets from his BB gun ( I remember those. My brothers got them for Christmas) . That accident never stopped Alice from living her dreams. One of the biggest dream in history was:

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I’ve had several books from these historical women on my bookshelf,  in what I can only describe as a stationary library for many years and felt that I could never part with any of these great works, but, alas, I have and I don’t regret passing them along (donations) to new readers and creatives and curious children who just might dare to dream 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I know that the works of these and other women history making artists are sitting on your bookshelf, vying for a little Women History Month love shout… Please share a few of your fave with us.

Writer’s quote for today:

“Only I hold the pen that will write the story of my life.” Tia Kelly

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Book Review-The Moment I Knew: Reflections from Women on Life’s Defining Moments


She was a child in the 60s living with a family of abusers. Her sexual abuse at the hands of her brothers would remain their secret. When a lady she admired for being strong willed and outspoken came to her rescue, she had to deny everything and keep the family secrets… 

The doctor gave her two choices: a. “You can stay home and wait for the miscarriage to complete” or,

 b. “You can come to the hospital in the morning for a D&C” an invasive surgery to clean the fetus from her womb…

He is sixteen, her only son and brother to her two daughters. They are  a loving family. He loves them and they love him. He has ADHD and they will always take care of him until the punch and that became “The Moment I Knew.”

The Moment I Knew: Reflections from Women on Life’s Defining Moments, is the 2nd book in Terri S. Nelson’s Reflections From Women Series. It is an awesome compilation of 3o women spanning the globe, who bravely share their essays and poems with other women and men on their journey to wholeness.

Some of the stories are heartbreaking. Some uplifting and all inspiring in their message of hope, renewal and growth. I remember when my essay was chosen for the premier book in the series, When One Door Closes: Reflections from Women on Life’s Turning Points, published in 2010. It’s a feeling of euporia and humility. As the women of The Moment I Knew can attest; Being among such brave and strong women from such diverse backgrounds, all coming together to share their journey, becomes a humbling experience.

The stories in The Moment I Knew draws the reader into the devastation of miscarriage. Death. Abuse. Diagnosed Illness. Divorce and Separation from family and culture… It also shows us the resilience of women, even when mired in weakness, indeciviseness and fear.

The Moment I Knew: Reflections from Women on Life’s Defining Moments is an easy read with 188 pages. It’s also a book that’s going to inspire you to keep going even in your darkest days. I truly kept these women stories in my mind long after finishing the book. The update about each author at the end of their essay is an added bonus. 

To purchase a copy of The Moment I Knew and the first book in The Reflections from Women Series, visit www.sugatpublications.com

 Thanks to Terri S. Nelson for providing a complimentary copy of The Moment I Knew for review.