Imagine for a moment, a tale we've misunderstood. It suggests that to take flight, we must be weightless, rid of the burden of salt. Yet, this is a skewed interpretation. The act of flight isn't about shedding weight, it's about surrender. Surrendering to the invisible forces that are ready to bear our weight, inviting us to be light and free. As Toni Morrison eloquently said in 'Song of Solomon,' "If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it." And so, we can. Welcome to the 'Storiverse,' an empowering realm where you are not only the protagonist but the author of your own story.
Growing up, I often found myself seeking reflections of Black girls like me in the media. From Rainbow Brite to the Smurfs, these narratives existed worlds apart from the reality I knew. As much as I loved Jem and her Holograms' cosmic realm, the stark absence of a Black lead was a harsh reminder of society's subtle sidelining.
Enter Claire Huxtable and Oprah, shining their beacons of hope, their success inspiring yet somewhat distant. These women were soaring, breaking barriers, but their flight path seemed just out of reach. Despite these groundbreaking women, the media was bereft of a story that I could call my own - a story of a Black, queer girl flying free, taking joy in her unique identity.
This search for my story led me to the 90's, a time when the airwaves began to change with shows like 'A Different World' and 'Living Single.' These programs introduced characters that mirrored different hues of Blackness, igniting sparks of representation. Yet, even with these refreshing breezes, I still yearned for a representation of the complexity of my identity.
The emergence of TLC in the hip-hop scene flung open new doors. Their audacious style and unabashed expression were more than just a breath of fresh air; they were a rallying call for unapologetic individuality. They were my 'take off' crew, their audacity fueling my ascent into my own unique flight path.
In my twenties, I was introduced to teachings that profoundly disrupted the narratives I had grown up with. This experience invited me to explore new realms - outer space, astral projection, lucid dreaming, meditation, and practices that I now recognize as elements of hoodoo. This period of intense enlightenment served as a shedding of the caul that had until then blinded me to the boundless sky that was mine to behold.
One story that significantly impacted me during this phase was 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull.' It introduced me to a liberating perspective, suggesting that 'whatever stands against freedom must be set aside.' This message resonated deeply, opening my eyes to the constraints I had unconsciously accepted, and inspiring me to break free from them.
In the midst of my transformative journey, I found solace and guidance in literature penned by black women authors. Their teachings seamlessly integrated into my being, becoming indistinguishable from my 'I am'-ness. The profound wisdom in their words - like 'I am my own best thing', 'God is Change', 'The more I wonder, the more I love', and 'My silence will not protect me' - served as the wind beneath my wings, lifting me when I felt grounded and offering higher heights to aim for.
Now, I invite you to join me in the 'Storiverse.' A realm that invites us to paint our own sky with shades of pink – a symbol of liberation, joy, and self-expression. A realm where storytelling lifts us from our mundane realities and lets us ride the air, breaking free from the narratives that weigh us down.
So, are you ready to break free from the gravitational pull of imposed narratives? Are you ready to grab your pen, seize your brush, and join me in the 'Storiverse?' Your story is waiting to be told, your wings ready to unfold. Remember, you're not just the protagonist of your narrative, you're the author as well.
Let's create a wave of change together. Share your stories of breaking free, of defying norms, and taking flight. Use the hashtag #EntertheStoriverse and inspire others to do the same. It's time to claim our space in the sky. It's time to fly.