The series I Am Woman Because… stems from a personal journey to define my own version of womanhood. About two years ago, I was writing a screenplay called Mother which prompted me to question what my own mother instilled in me about womanhood. And at the time, I had no idea what it meant to be a woman. As I shared this sense of uncertainty with other women around me, I saw that they had no idea either—we’re all just trying to figure it out. In my late 20s, I was asking myself all these questions: What does it mean to be a woman? How do I become a woman? And eventually, Why am I a woman?
I’m finding that I have to reaffirm the answer to that question every day. We are who we are, even if we are still working towards understanding. I discovered my version of womanhood through healing, writing and reflecting on some of the painful parts of my relationship with my mother. In order to forgive that relationship and move forward, I had to think of my mother as a woman with her own life and her own experiences. That helped get me onto this continuous journey that is still teaching me about myself. Reflecting on all of this now, I see a completely different person than I was a year ago, two years ago, three years ago. To me, that means I am growing into who I am.
About a year ago, my partner Cheyanne Givens curated an event called Alpha Female Fest, designed to celebrate Baltimore-based women and foster a kind of sisterhood. As part of the event, we filmed interviews and talked with these artists, poets, musicians, teachers, business owners, athletes, and more about what they do, who they are, and how they got to where they are. Each time someone came into our home for an interview, it felt amazing to be around these women who carry so much in their own unique ways.