This blog post was written by Brittany Barker, a Girls Write Now mentee alum and Posse Foundation Scholar, who recently performed her first one woman show. A Dickinson College graduate, Brittany is now teaching in New York City and working towards her master’s degree. As a mentee, she was matched for three years with author Josleen Wilson, a long time mentor, volunteer, and leader at Girls Write Now. The pair are still very close and Josleen cheered her on at the performance. These are Brittany’s reflections on the evening.
It’s been a full week since this happened — my first one woman show, BlackGirl Third Space: Standing Upright in the Crooked Room.
I’m still in awe. Still in love with what became of those two nights.
I’m wholeheartedly thankful for those who showed up, for everyone who felt my voice worthy enough to listen to, for everyone who paid $15 for my little BlackGirl poems.
Ideas for this show surfaced in my dorm room two years ago at Dickinson College. I’d been researching Homi K. Bhabha’s third space theory in an attempt to understand my feelings of displacement in the spaces I occupied, and simultaneously, was in the process of drafting a 55-page senior thesis that contextualized woman of color in the American literary tradition.
What first surfaced was a creative writing manuscript titled BlackGirl Third Space. It consisted of 14-15 poems, many of which didn’t make it to the August show. Now, two full years later, a series was launched!
What took place on August 4th and 5th was profound. People showed up. People watched. People listened. What I learned is that there are cohorts of women whose life stories have followed a tune similar to mine. I learned that no matter how different our experiences are, we hum the same song. Many of us still can’t locate the beauty in a melody as golden as our existence — that is the crux of why the series was produced. This is why it must be continued! BlackGirl Third Space: Standing Upright in the Crooked Room is the first in a series catered to unpacking the Black female’s experience and her attempts at self-preservation.