5 Reasons you should attend #WhenPensCollide
A couple of weeks ago I tweeted that Dorm Room Television would not be hosting anymore events in 2015. Once you tweet something it’s now real lol, so I tweeted that statement out (because that meant I was serious). I am overworked (not because I have been doing too much work but because I didn’t properly plan for the blessing (that’s another post) but back to this one, so I decided that after the second “Dorm Room University” event I was closing up shop…no more events for 2015. No sooner than I send the damn tweet my phone rings (the tweet was sent and seen) and its my soul sistah Tassika. “So, I heard you’re not doing anymore events in 2015 after November 7th?” <– Glad Tass got the memo, “but I have this event idea I want to run by you.” <–So she didn’t read the memo she must have glanced. Tassika is my soul sistah and my creative shoulder to lean on, our friendship developed through an odd job at an odd time in my life. Our closeness came from laughter (because we both can take a joke) and pain (because we both experienced a great loss at the same time).
So, she put out the idea that it would be cool to have an event where writers (because she is one Click Here ) would be able to have a safe space to hear their words read back to them. Once she said what her idea was the wheels in my tired mind began turning. I had been sitting on the name, “When Pens Collide” for some time (because Dorm Room Television has a Book Club) and I was fiddling with a couple of ideas. As soon as she said the idea over the phone it was magic…black girl magic to be exact. Tass then told me about an amazing soul named Erica, crazy thing I had been following Erica on social media (because she is a dope writer) and we quickly got on a call together. If this event was going to happen it had to be fleshed out, to have black female writers in one space with an audience listening to their words being read back to them needed some thought, love, action, and most of all a space. Not a physical one (we needed that as well) but a well thought out space where the audience, the writers, and the host (Tass, Erica & I) could feel at home in. So we got to creating it from the ground up. Writers names were being tossed out over the phone each day and a list was created each writer bringing their own set of art and soul to the table. We combed through their work and this Saturday art, hearts, minds, and souls will meet. Here are five reasons you need to attend #WhenPensCollide…..
1. Because You NEED to smile, laugh, cry, yell, and hug a sistah.
I swear this year for me has been a trying one, trying to get my personal life in order, trying to get my professional life in order, trying to make sure my edges and eyebrows are in tact, trying to keep my nails did, all while trying to smile while going through my trying times. I need to be around a group of women I can let out a deep sigh to without saying words after and they get it. They get it because they live it and they understand…it’s hard being a black girl, especially when you are trying to be great. I have read these wonderful writers words so I know they get it. I have laughed, smiled, and cried while reading their work, and on Saturday somebody better give me a damn hug…because I need one. And I am just going to take a leap and assume you need one as well.
2. Because YOU need a safe space to be yourself.
“Dear Young, Black Females In America, It’s Not Safe For Us Either.” That is the title of a post I read on VIBE online. The story was about the infamous video of the white police officer damn near dragging the little black girl in her bathing suit while smashing her head into the grass. It’s been a long time since I felt completely safe to just be a beautiful, emotional, fake deep, dramatic, cool, funny, annoying at times, black girl. There are very few places that women of color have where we feel totally and 100% safe in. No watching your tone or your words, you can neck roll, talk in a loud voice, and use slang at #WhenPensCollide. You can be YOU and it will be enough. Actually we would appreciate if you left all that extra shit at home, just bring yourself. You have always been enough, just the way you are.
3. Because the art & the artist matters.
When a writer writes the feedback is slow, it’s a little different than when a singer sings in front of an audience, they get the feedback right away. You either applaud of boo them, but when a writer writes there are times when there are spaces and gaps, the audience neither applauds of boo’s its just silent. The audience reads the work and even if they love it they may not always show it or even acknowledge it for that matter, its truly not their fault but this is a reality for our writers. They are writers of color so the spaces where they dwell are narrow and tight. They have to make due because the ones before them carved out the path as best they could but still its narrow and tight for any writer of color. #WhenPensCollide acknowledges that these writers and their work matter. We applaud them for their work and we acknowledge the person behind the pen.
4. Because the reader matters.
Writers have many different reasons for writing, but when a reader attaches themselves to the words of a writer…it’s something special. You, the reader, help these writers more than you know, it is your very being that fuels these talented writers to “write on” when then ink runs dry in their pens. You reach out to them by way of a comment, good review, or a share on social media, this lets them know that they must go on. You, the reader, the one who boasts about their favorite writer to their friends and recommends their work to complete strangers keeps the train moving. #WhenPensCollide brings the reader into the experience not simply as an audience member but as the fuel to the engine.
5. Because the ones who came before us have already paid for our crowns.
“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it” -James Baldwin. The amazing and talented writers who have come before us have already paid for our crowns. How can we leave the greatness alone without adding to it? They have sacrificed and prayed for us…how can we not rise to the occasion? #WhenPensCollide introduces our generation of great writers who use their words to create art.