Back in 2011, I had a wonderfully artistic birthing of relationships and projects. I was driving the roads up and down the East Coast enjoying thBack in 2011, I had a wonderfully artistic birthing of relationships and projects. I was driving the roads up and down the East Coast enjoying the people I met and wanting to share in their creative magic, as it inspired me to dig deeper in my own garden. During one of her workshops about writing memoirs, I met Khadijah Ali Coleman, and was introduced to Liberated Muse on a serious level.
I walked up to her and asked if I could write about her and the Liberated Muse production Running: AMOK, touring at that time. And she was happy to let me. I did Q&A articles for my new network of beautiful, brown-skinned DC divas.
Each one had their own sass and style which made Running: AMOK an artistic bell ringing true throughout the DC Metro area. Khadijah Ali-Coleman, Rayona L. Young, Deja Belle, Lyn Artope, Nia Simmons, Colie Williams, Quineice. That time in 2011 was truly a “chance meetings with kindred spirits”. Each woman could sing, act and stand artistic in one of the nation’s more corporate-mindsets. I went to see Running: AMOK just after the articles were published and it was magical, musical and still honest to the reality of balance that must come with those of us called to the arts in this land of hegemony.
And then I moved to San Diego.
I was so happy to be home. With the online world becoming a press to the reality of location, I didn’t think I would miss the East Coast artistics as much as I did (and do). I am a bit of a romantic, but I must admit that I haven’t really made that connection out here. I take ownership of my part in it. I was getting my Master’s Degree from Goddard College, and making roots with my freelancing.
Liberated Muse is five years going strong and Khadijah Ali-Coleman is doin’ her thang as its figurehead and founder. On July 2, 2014 Khadijah was featured on WHUR 96.3 in DC on Joe Gorham’s show Spoken Word. Her poem, “The Foolish Ass Truth” and the conversation it started made me feel that old connection being dusted off. I wanted to cry inside for the shame at the beautiful flaws that make my art my own. During the time I was on the East Coast, I was exposed to my own art, and the ways in which I ran from it. Those were some hard truths to hear, but as The Last Unicorn says, “truth melts magic, always.”
I’m on the West Coast, and I post poetry regularly on my blog. I also have freelance work I do from time to time. I write for work, and I write for joy. 2011 was a birthing year for me, but Liberated Muse was already a behemoth toddler. Now at the age of five, Liberated Muse has sponsors upon sponsors, publications, and a new play traveling the East Coast, written by Khadijah, In Her Words.
This new play production is an education of the “intersection of race, gender and social activism through the lives of six legendary African-American creatives,” using actual quotes from the women (from Lena Horne to Zora Neal Hurston) to express what was truly going on in their lives not just their presentations. I wish I was there to see the play because I would enjoy it, but more than that to be around my artistic peeps again. I am so humbled by this woman Khadijah Ali-Coleman, and what she has done. But Pme and Qme inside are screaming at me from both ends that I am doing it too.
We all bring our “food” to the table. Mine may be one flavor and hers another, but I am in part liberated because of this woman’s work. It is acknowledged and celebrated. I am just one person she has inspired, and I pray for the chance to get her out here. The West Coast won’t know what hit it. Liberated Muse, San Diego is in need of some Khadijah.
I guess I’ll just have to push until she gets here.
Mark your calendar to come out to Artscape in Baltimore, MD on Sunday, July 20. Khadijah Ali Coleman teaching a theater workshop and doing LYRIC MONSTER with a band. Visit http://www.KhadijahOnline.com for more info.