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Janine Pic.jpg
Notebook and Pen

Forever the Writer.
My Aesthetic. My Life.

Concrete Wall
Concrete Wall

I am a Black woman. A ghost. One that is constantly haunted. The story is known. Not enough and too much. Nappy. Articulate. Too smart. Ugly. Dark. Pretty for. Too many white friends. Black body parts. The dogma shadowed me as a writer for the longest time. But I read novels to help find creative answers to my existence—then I wrote my words. They were words about white people and “straight things.” I brought situations and people into my work who would never be in my life into existence. I ignored myself in my words. I was a young, lonely, and scared Black girl. I was ashamed because I was the worst of both worlds: \Black/\Woman/. I didn’t know what to do with those feelings and realizations. 

As I got older and went through bouts of mental stability and uncertainty, I was too tired to hate what I was. So, I started writing about Black people. Other “not white” people. The mentally ill and abused. Queers. But Black women most of all. Consistently. Easily. Until I was finally writing differently from my writing companions because I was different from them. I’d like to think this was the first step to recovery, or perhaps it was proof that I was finally getting better.

It became automatic at one point—accepting my existence as The Default. With this new artistic bravery, I began to write pieces as I saw them in my head. As I heard in my ear. I brought to life situations and people that I had scratched out or tweaked since I was ten. Suddenly, my writing meant repetition. Imagery. Splicing fiction and nonfiction - playwright and poetry. Choppy dialog. Fragments. Weirdness. Aggressive Blackness. Anything I needed my writing to be or my life required.

I had unknowingly connected Black life in my writing to freedom of creativity.

Hybridity is my craft. My life and how I want to tell it do not always fit into blocks of paragraphs. I’m an intersection, and I feel hybrid allows me to breathe and roam through the various lanes of my life. 

Paper and Pen

      Writer. Experimenter. Teacher.

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