Celebrating strong African women in color

MuluqueenWould you leave your job working as a T-shirt designer for a major denim company in Istanbul to move to Atlanta with no money and no plan– only talent? A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview an artist named Hirut Yosef, and that is exactly what she did. She designed jerseys and graphic tees for Mavi Jeans, and one year ago she uprooted herself to live with her sister, brother-in-law, and niece in Atlanta. Today, her exhibit Chalom Yashan is on view at the Marcus Jewish Community Center through March 31.

Moving to Atlanta was one of many long journeys that she has taken in her life–she is from Israel, by way of Ethiopia. She landed in Israel at age 5 after her family walked over 400 miles to Sudan in order  flee famine and war. Read it all here.

Q&A with playwright Dominique Morisseau about DETROIT 67

DominiqueMorisseau Headshot  Last Monday I interviewed international playwright Dominique Morisseau about her play Detroit 67. It runs at Atlanta’s Southwest Arts Center, February 10 – March 8. We chatted a lot about her hometown of Detroit, and how she aspires to be the scribe for the people she grew up with. Below is a teaser of our conversation. Click the link below to read the full interview.

ArtsATL: The “n-word” is used a lot in this play. Why did you choose to use it?

Morisseau: I usually never use this word in plays. I always try to find another word for how black people describe each other. I got to a point in my writing where nothing else worked. I was censoring myself as a writer by not letting my characters speak for themselves. I researched and started talking to my parents, and I asked them to just be with me in a basement in 1967 with [their] friends. What would [they] say? My mother’s hilarious answer was, “Well, the bad girls would say ‘nigger.’” They didn’t want to admit to me that they used the “n-word.”

I was thinking about my responsibility as an artist, and I know that to my elders, it may hit them wrong because they have worked so hard to bury that word. But on the flip side, I have to not try to correct my people, but rather let them see themselves reflected back to themselves, and then they can make the choice to do something different.

– See more at: http://www.artsatl.com/2015/02/preview-playwright-dominique-morisseau-detroit-67/#sthash.krOza7EP.dpuf