Close to seventy women across the United States contributed to I AM Woman with either their image or their words. When the project began, the portrait sessions were open to women of all ethnic backgrounds. However, this first photobook has always been intended to focus on Black Women in America. The portraits of the women in the book will have their first names and the word(s) they use to describe themselves. This page acknowledges the contributions of poetry and short stories from other writers. It also lists the historic women whose revolutionary commentary on their own lives has helped anchor and frame the powerfully, resilient story of Women of African descent in the United States of America since 1600.
Author – Abena Amoah is an emerging writer born in Ghana, West Africa. Abena fell in love with storytelling as a child through African drama movies and T.V shows. To this day, she remembers accounts of the joy in telling stories through performing in church and school plays. Abena began actively writing by keeping a notebook of poetry and short stories at the age of nine. A new voice among African writers, she aspires to tell stories that insist on visibility.
Speech – Josephine Baker was American-born French national who earned fame as a dancer and singer becoming a Parisian phenomenon in the 1920s. Baker was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Légion d’Honneur by General Charles de Gaulle, and also the Rosette of the Résistance for aiding German-occupied France during World War II. Baker became a vocal opponent of segregation and discrimination in the United States. Though based in France, she supported the American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s. She protested racism in her own unique way, adopting twelve multi-ethnic orphans, whom she called her “Rainbow Tribe.” In 1963, at the age of 57, Baker spoke at the March on Washington wearing her French Resistance uniform. She was the only woman to address the audience of 250,000 that day, the largest audience of her career.
Renee Daniel Flagler
Renee Daniel Flagler is an award-winning writer, adjunct professor, and speaker who is passionate about inspiring women and youth to pursue their passion and purpose. Renee is the author of several novels, including Society Wives, which has been optioned for film. Renee writes romance novels under the pen name, Nicki Night. Her poetry has appeared in Ink & Voices. Renee received an MFA in Creative Writing from The College of New Rochelle and was the recipient of the graduate program’s inaugural Creative Writing Division Award for Excellence in Writing and Commitment to the Profession. She is an advocate for empowering youth by influencing literacy in the United States and abroad. Renee resides in New York City where she currently lives with her husband and children.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Poet – A free-born native of Baltimore, Maryland, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper gave her first anti-slavery lecture in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1854. Her books of poetry enhanced her prominence but when she in 1859 wrote an open letter to the condemned John Brown, her correspondence was read by tens of thousands of Americans. In May 1866 Harper addressed the Eleventh National Women’s Rights Convention in New York City where she sat on the platform with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. That address appears below.
Speech – In 2017, Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.
Kamala has spent her life fighting injustice. It’s a passion that was first inspired by her mother, Shyamala, an Indian-American immigrant, activist, and breast cancer researcher.
After earning an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, she began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
In 2003, Kamala became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. She served two terms. Kamala was then elected as the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General.
In the United States Senate, Kamala’s mission remains unchanged: fighting for the rights of all communities in California. Since taking office, she has introduced and cosponsored legislation to raise wages for working people, reform our broken criminal justice system, make healthcare a right for all Americans, address the epidemic of substance abuse, support veterans and military families, and expand access to childcare for working parents.
She ran for President of the United States, announcing her candidacy on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019. She suspended her campaign in December 2019. In August 2020, Joe Biden, the democratic presidential nominee, selected Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate. In November 2020, Biden and Harris were elected as President and Vice President of the United States of America.
Learn more about Madame Vice President Kamala Harris here: Home | U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California (senate.gov)
Poet, Editor, Photographer, Publisher – LaShawnda Jones is an independent author, publisher and photographer for Harvest Life and SH Images. Her work focuses on women, spiritual growth, the need for social justice and the beauty of everyday life through gratitude. LaShawnda has published several books on the challenges and joys living a faith-practicing life. She speaks nationally on self-image, self-esteem, and identity in Jesus Christ. She is also available to photograph lifestyle, travel and real estate photography bookings.
Writer – Kimberly Lee, a graduate of Stanford University and UC Davis School of Law, worked as a public defender and, later, as a sole practitioner in Los Angeles.
She left the practice of law to focus on motherhood, community work, and creative pursuits. A Kimberly’s stories and essays have appeared in The Sun, The Prompt, LA Parent, Literary Mama, The Satirist, (mac)ro(mic), Toasted Cheese, Thread, and Foliate Oak, amongst others. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Kimberly currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.
Poet – Lyn Patterson is a poet and flash fiction writer originally from Seattle, Washington. She has lived all over the east coast and currently travels while teaching online courses to aspiring reading teachers. She is inspired by poetry and flash fiction because of the creativity, healing, and reflection it provides both author and reader. Themes she explores are intersectionality, feminism, identity, non-western religious beliefs, and relationships in the digital age. She is currently working on her debut manuscript while salsa dancing every chance she gets. Titles included in this volume are Joy, Wash Days, and Pretty. She has been published in Art Cult Zine, Artcultzine.com, Issue 8
Ida B. Wells
Journalist – By 1909 Ida B. Wells was the most prominent anti-lynching campaigner in the United States. From the early 1890s she labored mostly alone in her effort to raise the nation’s awareness and indignation about these mostly unpunished murders that were publicly celebrated. In 1909, however, she gained a powerful ally in the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Wells delivered the speech included in this volume at the National Negro Conference, the forerunner to the NAACP, in New York City on May 31-June 1, 1909.
Writer – Camille Worrell is a high school English teacher and writer who immerses herself in her craft daily through her lesson plans. Writing is a passion she began indulging at the age of nine. She’s the author of articles, stories, plays, affirmations and poetry.
To better understand the performer’s perspective and to perfect her playwriting technique, Camille began performing with the United Federation of Teachers Players, an organization that provides opportunities for members to express creativity through a wide variety of theatrical activities.
Camille co-wrote and published A Pearl of a Girl with her friend, S.E. Scott. They are currently writing a three-book series.
She is a contributing writer for the Canaan Voice, the newsletter of Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem, NY. As a member of the Micki Grant Performing Arts Ministry, she is able to perform her own work. She is also a member of The National Council of Negro Women, Inc., Co-op City Section, Bronx, NY where she implemented a women’s program in 2016.
Camille is working on solo non-fiction publication of her work.