Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pearl Cleage. Once In A Lifetime.

Even though you may love your own family to pieces, have you ever met someone and thought -- Wow, I bet it was cool to be raised in their household?

That's how I felt last week when I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors and activists, Pearl Cleage, and her husband and son last week during her two-day stint at my campus. I won't go on with the gushing, but just watching and listening to their interactions as a family told me a lot about communication, sharing, and how being creative, politically-conscious, and culturally-emowered are great qualities to have in a household.

Enough of the family dynamics. Because I do love my own family and the ways we were raised.

But back to Pearl Cleage's talk at Cal State L.A. Phenomenal! She presented a keynote address for Women's History Month (or Womyn's Herstory Month, for the progressive types). It was a requiem in four-parts that spoke to the overall topic of violence against women, and how our personal decisions and collective responses are vital parts of making sure we have safe communities for our women, children, and ultimately men.

Though much of her initial writings centered on the abusive couple of her day, Miles Davis and Cicely Tyson, in her work Mad At Miles, Pearl Cleage was able to interchange the current Chris Brown and Rihanna situation into her pieces and it made the issues so current and relevant to college students today. Here's her thoughts on Womanist-Centered Theater.

I could go on and on. All I have to say is if you EVER get a chance to go hear her speak or do a book reading, please go. If you get a chance to buy, borrow, or read any of her novels or plays, please do. You'll find that her characters, and the issues they deal with, are just like the people you and I know... and the communities we WISH to see.

If you've had a chance to see, read, or hear Pearl Cleage or her work, how does it make you feel or think?


V.A. Patrick Slade said...

I love Pearl. Met her a few times while I lived in Atlanta. She's so down to earth, so talented and she so loves the gay community and respects it. You can tell by her characters and stories....Lucky boy...Hope she was all that you thought that she would be...:-)

Carleen Brice said...

Haven't met her yet but have had the pleasure of talking and corresponding with her.