Women’s History Month – a celebration

What’s there to celebrate?

I am always fascinated by the resilience and grace of women.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you are from or how much money you have. I feel that women are here to share themselves with the world.

Girl 5Girl 2Girl 3

THE MAJESTIC MYSTIC OF BLACK GIRL MAGIC

Even though I love boys just the same, my predicament as a middle child and only girl in a house of five children have given me few different thoughts about this gender thing. We live in a world where our gender can still predict what kind of future we will have.

1Goat girl2

What kind of job, what kind of salary, what your health outcomes may be like? The doors that you get to walk through and what you get to do when you are there? How questions like these and many others intersect with race has produced a creative tension within my own work – a tension that is always searching for answers.

Maasai girl 4

As a mother, everyday, I wonder about what the future may hold for my daughter? How to prepare her for today’s world with challenges I may not even recognize?

Maasai mom and child

How can I pass on my knowledge to her in a way that doesn’t smothers her but also does not make her naive?

Ghana 2_1

How can I teach her my personal philosophy while giving her the support to create her own?

Dyke1

I discovered something last summer, while, watching my daughter whimsically draw a picture of a little girl on concrete.

Miata shadow 2There was a shadow of herself dancing inside of her creation. I remember feeling that I was so wrong. This was not a front-row seat into another whimsical creativity in motion but a confirmation that her women-instinct-spirit had already formed.  Her movements were not arbitrary, but methodical and I realised at this moment that she may already know exactly what she wants out of this world.

picture0126

For the past month, I have been looking at this photograph of my daughter in concert with snapshots I’ve taken of other black girls/women/ females over the years ( especially my great auntie above taken with my cell phone in Guyana in 2008) to see if there is a symphony of spirit playing. And I have to say when I look at them  – yes there is.  I can hear it. I see it.  And I wonder how to continue to celebrate that spirit in myself and others.  Happy International Women’s Day everyone. Everyday!

Alison Duke with Maasai wandering storytellers ©AlisonDuke

I’m proud of how far I have come in life, where I have been, the stories I have listened to and carried with me. Especially, as a Black woman. Even in this day you are told that you shouldn’t have higher expectations than what people have for you which is mostly pretty low. My advice to young creative women coming up today is don’t listen to people who don’t see you. Don’t give anyone who belittles you the time of day. Seek out people who want you to lead and be great. Surround yourself with people who cherish your ideas as much as you, and don’t just take your creativity and ignore who you are. The world is a big place. There are many people who know and understand how magical you are. Be, work and play with them.

Published by Alison Duke

Writer/producer/director enjoying the process.

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