“Black Girl Speaks” is a piece that gives voice to issues that all African-American girls and women can relate to. Composed of spoken word, monologues and music, “Black Girl Speaks” found a creative and inspiring way to deliver a message of hope, faith and self-love to women at Florida A&M University Wednesday night.
This former one-woman show has expanded in the last few years into a movement of women trying to educate and encourage by using powerful words to impact its audience.
Written by FAMU alumna Talitha Anyabwele’, “Black Girl Speaks” touched on deep issues such as molestation, rejection and overcoming tremendous hurt. Anyabwele’ also performed pieces about love and self-esteem. Together the cast of four portrayed real women and the everyday yet sometimes traumatic situations black women face.
Theola Williams, 22, a nursing student from Miami, said she was moved by the themes in the show.
“My favorite part of the show was that she touched on all aspects of being a black woman,” Williams said.
Williams said this was her second time to see the show and this one was even better than the last.
“I thought the show was awesome and much needed here at FAMU,” said Shae Lenoir, a 22-year-old health administration student from Tampa.
Lenoir said the message was uplifting and she hopes more men come out next time because she feels it could benefit them as well.
“It affected me tremendously because they talked about things that I am going through right now,” said Lenoir as she explained how she could relate with the issues of dealing with “black hair” and healthy and unhealthy relationships with men.
” I enjoyed how she showed the baggage but also showed the beauty,” said Lenoir as she described how Anyabwele’ revealed positive and negative sides to the burdens that black women face due to oppression and society.
“Black Girl Speaks,” has had much critical acclaim, but Anyabwele said she thanks God for all of her success.
“I have to give credit to God, I’m just a vessel,” Anyabwele’ said.
“I am trying to educate a community of people to love themselves and to understand and humanize the black female. Historically, I do feel like we’ve been dehumanized,” she said about the inspiration behind “Black Girl Speaks.”
Anyabwele said she has been writing since the sixth grade and that “Black Girl Speaks” originated from about 30 journals she’d accumulated since childhood.
“I want people to walk away from this empowered and provoked to actually do something to empower their community,” said Anyabwele. “I want people to leave not just being entertained, but to be educated enough to go out and say that I can contribute to my community and that I will use my voice in this way to speak.”
This is Anyabwele’s fourth performance of “Black Girl Speaks” at FAMU, she said she wants people to start recognizing what their voice is and what they can do to implement change for the betterment of our people.
She has traveled all over using her voice to educate girls of all ages,”In a world that does so much to destroy us, I am proud to have something specifically, for because of and inspired by the black female,” said Anyabwele’.