Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cindy Reed, black girls, and poetry

I've lost count of how many times Cindy Reed has led poetry presentations and workshops for us over the years. I'm grateful, though, that I can keep depending on her.

Today, she led a workshop for our fall Language Arts and Leadership conference for high school black girls. Cindy's workshop prompted participants to investigate how black women’s poetry imagined black girls on the page and how those images prompted them to explore their real life experiences. The high school students analyzed poetry and addressed some of the reasons why black girls represent themselves in the ways they do both in poetry and in person.

The high school students really enjoyed workshop. Some of them noted that the poetry was interesting, and just as important, Cindy affirmed the young women throughout the session.

After the workshop, Cindy observed:
I was fascinated about how the young sisters readily opened up and talked about their own experiences after reading poetry that reflects the images of black girls and women. In fact, the discussion got so good, we ran out of time. This demonstrated two significant things: black girls need more exposure to literature they can see themselves in, and they crave safe spaces in which they can discuss issues and ideas related to their black girl identities.

The Language Arts & Leadership Conference, Fall 2017

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