Anyone who knows me even the slightest bit knows my love of literature.
The written word. The spoken word.
I grew up reading – no: devouring – the words of women like Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni as though they were chunks of ripe fruit. Sometimes that fruit was sweet, and the juice of it whirled round inside me and made my heart dance. At other times it were bitter, and I felt myself tear up as my throat grew tight, and I was weighed down by the burden our ancestors had carried on their bent backs.
Most importantly, though, it was women like Nikki Giovanni (and, yes, Maya Angelou) that let me know without a shadow of a doubt that our story – my story – was worth telling. That it was just as valuable and just as earth-shattering and just a soul-stirring as any other story echoing around our planet.
And it was women like these who accompanied me on my journey to find my own voice to tell that story.