By Charles Davis III
Friday February 8th at the local bar Chizuko, located at 506 W Belmont St, several women came together with a shared goal: to show the local and tri state area that women of color come from all different walks of life and still face the same issues. The audience witnessed the soulfulness and positivity that these women bring to the microphone for Womanhood In Lavender.
Womanhood In Lavender is an event hosted in conjunction with FemFest. This event specifically celebrates black women and the different orientations they associate and interact with as well as black womanhood. The name “Womanhood in Lavender” represents womanism, which emphasizes black women’s natural contribution to society. The inspiration for the name came from an Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, saying “Womanism is to feminism as purple is to lavender.”
Haley Morrissette, the community service director for the Black Women Empower Collective(BWEC), hosted the event. She says this event is intended to shed light on African American women and the different backgrounds they come from.
The Black Women Empowerment Collective is an organization of women from different walks of life from social work to artists and even entrepreneurs. They recently started a book club and often have sister circles to discuss said books . BWEC also helps with all kinds of resources for hetero, homosexual and trans women.
Friday’s event is just one of many they intend to have, the next event they have planned is a community baby shower called #BEYBShower inspired by Beyoncé announcing her pregnancy with twins. Her popular announcement gave the organization the idea to help out local women of color who lack the means to get necessities for their newborns.
This event also helps the local public to understand what intersectionality is and what it means to realize that even though something may not affect the white moderate it still affects the marginalized communities.
African American women, from Angela Davis and Assata Shakur to Alice Walker and more, serve as the inspiration that keeps the BWEC going. Morrissette feels that all of these women inspired and fought for the African American community to take care of its women.
The BWEC hosts events like the #BEYBShower and Womanhood In Lavender to empower local women of color as well as women all around the world. Morrissette as well the BWEC want the community to know that black women are not a monolith, not all the same but diverse.
Womanhood In Lavender was an eclectic event where women from all walks of such as singers, poets, educators, activists, etc. shared their talents on stage. “It’s all connected because it’s all about black women.” says Morrissette.
Pensacola State College student, Jaime Edmonds performed Tanya’s Monologue, a moving piece from August Wilson’s, King Hedley ii about a black woman who is deciding on whether or not to have an abortion because of the violence and suffering in their world.. She held the attention of the audience and delivered a piece of art for all to experience.”I chose the monologue because I love August Wilson’s plays. He always writes such powerful black female characters,”says Edmonds.
For more on the BWEC follow them on Facebook @blackwomanempoercollective