by Robin Byrd
I have rewritten this Blog article several times. For now, I will leave it at what are you reading and viewing this Black History Month?
Here are my lists:
Caste The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Pushout The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris
The Book of Jasher
The Books of Enoch
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni 1968 – 1998 by Nikki Giovanni
Malcolm & Marie (Zendaya and John David Washington) by Sam Levinson
Looking forward to seeing
The United States Vs. Billie Holiday (starring Andra Day) by Suzan-Lori Parks
by Robin Byrd
I have mentioned this before but lately, it been getting more pronounced. Ever had someone tell you that they don’t mind if you talk to yourself but will have a problem if you answer? That is when – at that moment — I have to say that I do in fact, answer myself but “only when I’m writing…” They usually catch me answering anyway… What writer do you know who can carry on conversations with the characters and not “appear” to be talking and answering their own self? I get the best inflections when I hear:
(Off stage whisper) the voices
(SOUND: loud clearing of a throat) THE VOICES!
Yeah, them. Only profession I know where you can actually have more than one personality speaking out of your mouth almost simultaneously and not be labeled a “Schizophrenic” – or rather, be committed…to an institution. Whole worlds going on in your head and you ain’t crazy, just a writing somebody. J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, and C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, were friends – both of them had some really strange and fascinating worlds in their heads. Octavia Butler’s Kindred blew me away especially the part where (spoiler alert) the arm got stuck in the wall — read it.
I can always tell when I need to sit down and write, the talking gets a bit much. Stories busting at the seams need to be fitted for the page; they get tired of walking around in bloomers and say so. If I stuck to a regimen, I would have it down to a minutes but I like to write wherever…, whenever… I break up the wildness with little structured writing windows from time to time, letting the voices put on formal wear and heels or formal wear and combat boots. Fehlge Burt is wearing combat boots — literally — and she’s ready to speak. I have no idea when and where she enters but am looking forward to hashing it out… I looking forward to hearing her voice that has been growing down inside of me for a few decades and I am hoping she does not slack on her words….