In February, I spoke with I AM WOMAN contributor, Abena Amoah. It was meant to be a 15-20 min conversation highlighting the poems and essay she submitted for my anthology about Black Womanhood. It became an hour-long conversation we both deeply appreciate.
The overarching themes in our conversation were womanhood (naturally!), motherhood, family, childhood sexual abuse and its carryover impact on adult development, freedom, writing process and personal joy.
I had wanted to do a shorter video for easier content breakdown and management. I will cut this into shorter segments for later uploads, but the flow of the conversation was so seamless, I decided to post the majority (the whole video was 103 minutes) first as a reference video.
You can order your copy of I AM WOMAN: Expressions of Black Womanhood in America here or on Amazon. Your online review is greatly appreciated.
Check out Abena’s other work on her site https://www.abenaamh.com/home.
“I’m not telling you that you have to tell your story. I’m telling you that you can.” Abena Amoah
- Work discussed (with approximate time marks):
- To My Daughter inspiration (beginning to 7:45)
- Scabs (7:50-13:15)
- Writing process and recovery (13:15-18:00)
- A Sermon Stands Before You (18:00-19:00)
- What is womanhood to you? (30:25-33:00)
- Setting boundaries (50:00-53:50)
- Abena reads To My Daughter (53:50)
“Family does not have to go everywhere with me.Abena Amoah
They aren’t angry about what happened to me. They are angry that I’m telling my story.”
A Sermon Stands Before You by Abena Amoah
They did not tell you?
Women who break themselves
out of cages
fly with a hunger only their God can feed,
and you are no manna.
She woke up one morning
and vowed to bathe herself daily in love.
This, too, is her daily prayer.
The woman of your dreams
is already in you.
A sermon stands before you
Those that remove each layer
revealing beneath scars that cause you to sit,
watch and listen.
~ Abena Amoah
To My Daughter by Abena Amoah
Because God has a way of letting us birth ourselves,
skin of my skin,
blood of my blood,
I have named you,
saved you a seat next to the sun,
light and warmth is inside you.
This is for the coldness of the world.
You will taste inside me
pain embedded in this skin.
You will feel the force of a push to
erase memories that have been my redemption.
You will touch dead skin
shed to keep others alive,
to keep men alive.
You will hear questions
that I have yet to find answers to — but this, I know.
You are of raw love —
the kind that breathes into you every day a new life.
You are of passion that burns —
the kind no one can put out without your permission.
You are made of strength —
the kind that leaves you standing tall
at the image of your scars.
You are of tears —
the kind that baptizes when your soul needs a savior.
You are made of beauty—the kind that is untouchable,
the kind that reflects the continent.
You are timeless.
You are made of God—
a kind that you won’t find anywhere except within you.
You are of God.
You are made of blood—
the kind that flows in your mother and her mother
and her mother’s mother,
the kind that births in you everything you
need in your falling and blooming.
And this, you will know.
~ Abena Amoah
“Some parts are ugly, but some parts are very beautiful.”Abena Amoah