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ELIXHER | September 22, 2014

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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Week in Review – Click, Watch, Read

July 29, 2011 |

NAACP Host LGBT Town Hall Meeting

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted its 102nd convention in Los Angeles on July 23 – 28.  The convention included the organization’s first ever LGBT town hall to address issues … Read More

Ask Aja: Your Fitness Questions Answered!

July 27, 2011 |

With the temps skyrocketing, there’s no need to compromise your daily workout routine. Fitness guru, Aja Davis, has the solution to your warm weather woes!

You asked…

Is there a way to enjoy the outdoors without being uncomfortable during … Read More

InspiHERed By: Lyric Cabral

July 25, 2011 |

InspiHERed By spotlights phenomenal women in the Black queer community—everyone from artists to activists. Each week ELIXHER features someone whose personal journey and individual craft inspire us to dream bigger, laugh harder, and love deeper. This week Lyric Cabral, a photojournalist and filmmaker, shares.

ELIXHER: Tell us … Read More

Week in Review – Click, Watch, Read

July 22, 2011 |

Pentagon to Certify Military Readiness for DADT Repeal

The Pentagon is set to certify that the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian service members, and doing so will not harm military readiness, a U.S. official … Read More

Our Family: Davone and Tiffany

July 20, 2011 | 4

Our Family is a series that celebrates two-mommy families and delves into some of the challenges they face. The goal of the series is to depict same-sex parent families in a way that’s authentic and dispels myths.Read More

InspiHERed By: Stephanie Russell

July 18, 2011 | 1

InspiHERed By spotlights phenomenal women in the Black queer community—everyone from artists to activists. Each week ELIXHER features someone whose personal journey and individual craft inspire us to dream bigger, laugh harder, and love deeper. This week we caught up with Stephanie Russell, a 26-year-old Houston … Read More

Big Bois Now: How Bklyn Boihood’s Vision Has Grown and How You Can Help

July 15, 2011 |

bklyn boihood, a collective that creates visibility and builds community within masculine of center bois, lesbians, queers, trans-identified, studs, doms, butches and AGs of color through online media, events, workshops and collaborative projects, is producing their 2012 calendar. They need … Read More

Week in Review – Click, Watch, Read

July 15, 2011 |

Gay Rights is a Civil Rights Issue

Black and gay activists have always played a formidable role in the civil rights movement, but weren’t necessarily widely accepted…That wasn’t always the case. Consider Bayard Rustin, a civil rights activist who was the key … Read More

5 Reasons to Help Fund Bklyn Boihood’s 2012 Calendar!

July 13, 2011 |

bklyn boihood, a collective that creates visibility and builds community within masculine of center bois, lesbians, queers, trans-identified, studs, doms, butches and AGs of color through online media, events, workshops and collaborative projects, is producing their 2012 calendar. They need your help! Read More

InspiHERed By: Shawn Smith

July 11, 2011 | 2

InspiHERed By spotlights phenomenal women in the Black queer community—everyone from artists to activists. Each week ELIXHER features someone whose personal journey and individual craft inspire us to dream bigger, laugh harder, and love deeper. In the spring we featured Shawn Smith, creator of HerSaturnReturns.com, in our “Friends We Follow” column. This week we learn more about Shawn’s personal journey, her thoughts on community, the role of artists/activists and more.

ELIXHER: Tell us a little about yourself.
SHAWN: My name is Shawn. I’m 28 years old. I’m from Brooklyn and I am a lesbian. [Laughs.] I am a lesbian. My mama said it’s okay. [Laughs.]

ELIXHER: [Laughs.] Are you originally from New York?
SHAWN: I am from New York. I’m born and raised in Brooklyn. Brooklyn has transformed since I was born here obviously. I really love living in Brooklyn. This is my zip code, 112- etcetera.

ELIXHER: What is it that you enjoy doing?
SHAWN: I enjoy doing my profession. I don’t really have recreational time, but I like to blend my recreational time with my professional time so that I can always do well in both. So I write and I am an archivist and librarian. I guess recreationally I produce theatre. I also enjoy money and working with money.

ELIXHER: What do you write?
SHAWN: I write non-fiction mostly. Although I’m trying to get into fiction, so lately what I’ve published are just non-fiction essays. But I write fiction stories. I haven’t really delved into how to publish the fiction yet. That’s something that I’m working on. There have been a lot of opportunities in poetry, which is why I begun writing poetry, not necessarily because I feel called to be a poet. My non-fiction is prose and in the fall, I will start an MFA in fiction. I’m super excited to be a student again, and to write with a structured feedback process.

ELIXHER: Tell us more about the theatre you produce.
SHAWN: I’m part of a collective called the WOW Theatre Collective. This theatre started thirty years ago and it’s always been a collective. We own the space that we’re inhabited in on 4th Street between Second and Bowery and that’s why Rivers of Honey is dedicated to that space because Rivers started in ’98 and the collective wanted to have a space that was specific to women of color primarily because it’s a feminist theatre. The feminist movement and feminism in its historical context has largely been considered a White space and a working to middle class space. They, as a collective, wanted to be clear that it’s a space for everyone and it has always been primarily lesbian, so that part was already taken care of. Being a part of the collective, I really wanted to nurture that; that’s why I’m there. Theatre was secondary. I just really wanted to be a part of a collective space. I believe in community and in community building. I think that the best way to do community building is in a socialist way. In a way that’s non-hierarchical, in a way that’s a collective way.

I’m also a part of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, which is also a collective. I joined that collective when I was an undergraduate. What prompted me to become an archivist and librarian was showing the importance of lesbian herstory and learning about other collective spaces that existed beforehand, learning about what the community really looks like and what it smells like and tastes like. Reading Audre Lorde’s writings and touching her pen, paper that she edited. Just being a part of that rich herstory was motivation to offer my services to this collective force.

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