Angry. Black. Woman.

As an actor I’ve been told more than once not to act like “an angry black woman”. That it isn’t becoming. You can be 'sassy', but for heaven sake you are not allowed to be angry. What I hadn’t questioned until recently was why no one asked, “Why are you so angry?” No one wondered if there was a reason for my anger, just instead repeated that I shouldn’t look so disturbed. But I am, in fact, all of these things. 

I am ANGRY. I am angry that I have to worry about my handsome, talented, brilliant partner getting shot in the street for having “a skin color of aggression”. I am angry that my father has been mistaken as the “wrong black guy” and had a gun pointed at him more than once. I’m angry that some of my “friends” would blindly side with an officer over another human being because that human being is black, likes rap music, and lives in a different neighborhood than them. I’m angry that some of my peers dream of going to Africa to hug children, but wouldn’t look twice at a Black child here in America. I’m angry that I was taught how to assimilate in order to survive. I’m angry that the size of my lips, my ass, my hair, my mannerisms and my skin color continue to be fetishized. I’m angry that my ancestors were captured, studied, worked until death, raped, dehumanized, lynched, murdered, spit on, and abused because of the color of their skin.

I am BLACK. I am the daughter of Eddie Jr., the son of Eddie Sr., the son of Leatha. I am the offspring of military veterans, who although they risked their lives for everyone, were treated like second-class citizens upon returning home. I am the descendent of educators. Selfless women who dedicated their lives to making sure that every child had access to education no matter what their financial situation. I am Black. It travels with me. It is my best friend. It speaks before I do, and continues fighting when I’ve tired. It is the most beautiful thing you will notice about me, and it is mine to love not yours to appropriate.

I am a WOMAN. I was born to give love. I have been gifted with a gentle disposition, and a strength that can bear children.  I am the goddess Inana, the goddess Ishtar, the goddess Isis. I have been placed at the background of a white male patriarchal society that is hell bent on regurgitating back to “old ways”. Yet, I am not shaken. I stand tall in the power of who I am. I am a healer. I am a nuturer. I am a vessel strong enough to hold the pain of generations and vunerable enough to still find love for my enemies.

So yes, I am an Angry Black Woman. While some people have the choice to turn off their access to racial injustice, I do not. Nor would I want to. Even in the midst of my frustration I choose to continue to show love. Especially to those who are bold enough to be bothered. I am not an archytype. I am a Black woman who is hurting. I lay my heart out knowing it will be stepped on and mistreated, but I would do it time and time again to fight for what is right. #BlackLivesMatter #AngryBlackWoman

Waiting with Grace!

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” –Author Unknown

If this quote is true then I am the most impatient person this side of the Mississippi. I hate waiting. I appreciate immediate gratification. I expect my apps to open quickly and with all the correct information. I want my food instant and my new love eternal. Unfortunately, life does not care what I want.

I made a proclamation to the universe that I would spend the rest of my life seeking a higher artistic truth. I bucked against the system when I decided to somehow make a living doing a subjective and often unappreciated craft. A craft that, if you’re lucky, you might be able to live off of in about twenty to thirty years after you start.

So why did I think it would happen overnight? See paragraph one.

We all crave the spotlight. The chance for our hard work to be seen and appreciated, but the truth is we spend more time waiting in the wings than actually performing on stage. There have been many times where I was waiting in the wings with angst, frustration, and jealousy. I couldn’t see past my own desires to congratulate others on their success.

There comes a point when pursuing this that you have to face yourself with total and brutal honesty. There is no other way to survive the instability of it all if you don’t build a strong foundation within yourself. So I decided to get honest. I’ve spent a lot of time the past few years working on surrendering to the wait. But not just waiting, waiting with grace.

I’ve learned so much and I think it’s important for artist to have a community to share. I hope that you’ll come back and share your ups and downs. Victories and frustrations. We all deserve our time in the spotlight, but we also must learn how to thrive while WAITING IN THE WINGS.