TableTalk 2011: “The Power In Telling Our Own Stories”

Click to listen to this year’s TableTalk!


Why are we listening to stories about us that are not being told by us?

A black man (Tyler Perry) adapted and filmed Ntozake Shange’s seminal play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow Was Enuf”.

A white woman (Kathryn Stockett) “created” the voices behind the mainstream hit about black women’s servitude in the American South.

Whether the topic in the international media is

  • unwed motherhood
  • the relative (un-)attractiveness of women of different races, or
  • natural hair

at a time when the narrative about women of African descent is (still) so strongly dominated by others, we often find ourselves sucked into the vacuum of re-action.

If we don’t tell our own stories – and support the choir of our many rich voices – no one else will!

There are (wo)men of African descent – also here in Europe – with an important story to tell: And they’re telling it. Even when it doesn’t get the mainstream attention it deserves. Even when we don’t give it the support it needs.

“A people is as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves!”

(Ben Okri)

You are cordially invited to attend the 2nd Uncaged Birds TableTalk.

Our motto for this year’s virtual round table:


Let’s take control of the stories we are telling ourselves and the stories being told about us!

  • What’s your reaction to the portrayal of women of African descent in the country where you live?
  • What would you like to see changed about that portrayal?
  • Do you feel you’ve tapped into your authentic voice when representing yourself and women like you?

Join our panel for this two-hour online session on

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm CET

as our panelist take your questions, respond to your comments, and share with us why they so strongly believe

  • in the power of our united voice
  • that it’s so vital to champion the voice of Afro-Europe
  • in what they are doing personally to provide its representatives with the support and exposure they need and deserve

I’m proud to have won as members of this year’s panel:

Sharon Dodua Otoo

“…I find extreme comfort in working through traumatic experiences by writing about them. Writing is healing. Storytelling is an extension of that – sharing my healing experiences with others…”

Sharon – a Black British mother based in Germany – is an activist, author and editor of the forthcoming book series “Witnessed”.

A German translation of her “The Circle and Square Story” was recently published as “Die Geschichte vom Kreis und Viereck” in (K)Erben des Kolonialismus im Wissenschaftsarchiv deutsche Sprache, edited by Susan Arndt und Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard (UNRAST Verlag, 2011).

She is also co-author of “Homestory Deutschland. Gelebt-erlebte Schwarze Deutsche Geschichte(n)” – a multimedia theatre play written in German.

She lives, laughs and works in Berlin. “the things i am thinking while smiling politely” – her first novella – is due to be published in Spring 2012 (edition assemblage).

Precious Williams

“…Nothing could be more undermining than being silenced, having your voice ignored. There is immense power in being heard…”

Precious is a UK-based author and journalist of Nigerian and Sierra Leonean descent.

She was educated at Oxford University (English Literature) and the London College of Printing (Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism).

She has written for a number of newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, the Telegraph, Elle, Marie Claire, Grazia, Glamour, the New York Post and the Financial Times. Her first book, a memoir called ‘Precious: A True Story’ was published by Bloomsbury in 2010.

Precious has also given lectures at various universities in the UK and metropolitan US.  She is an ambassador for the charity Africans Unite Against Child Abuse and she is at work on her next book, a novel.

Carolyn Vines

“…You can only tell your own story if you’ve found your authentic voice. When you speak with that authentic voice, you’re telling the world who you are in your own terms and on your own terms. That is true power…”

Carolyn Vines is passionate about IDENTITY and INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL and wrote about the intersection of the two in her memoir –  black and (A)broad: traveling beyond the limitations of identity.

She currently uses her award-winning website, , and radio program, “Black and Abroad, Too” as platforms to inspire today’s black women to use traveling abroad as a tool for self-discovery.

When she’s not writing or blogging, Carolyn loves to spend time at home in the Netherlands with her Dutch husband and bi-cultural/bilingual children.

I will serve as host and moderator for the evening:

Trina Roach

“…Our stories are the things that anchor us. They connect us to our past, as well as to those around us. And it is our story that prepares us for and propels us into the future we imagine for ourselves…”

I am an executive coach and leadership trainer who has lived in Germany for almost 40 years, and the founder of Uncaged Birds™.

Are you able to join us? Would you like to share this information with a friend?