Filling My Well

Taking tomorrow off from work and heading over to Medgar Evers College for the National Black Writers’ Conference.  This will only be the second time I’ve been able to attend, and I’m really looking forward to it, really glad I was able to take the day.

The one I went to years ago was an interesting experience.  I was more than a little horrified to start the day with a speaker who basically used his time on stage to blame educated black women for all the problems faced by black people in American society.  Yes, really.  We are to blame because we’ve cloistered ourselves away in our ivory towers and we don’t give anything back to our communities.  We are to blame because we are too busy fighting for feminist causes than black causes.  And, most importantly I’m sure, we are to blame because we have forgotten or choose not to accept that our real role is to be the supporting player to a man.  There were a few speakers that picked up and ran with this theme … and none of the other speakers challenged them.   Several women staged a walk-out of one discussion, and the speaker used that as an opportunity to mock us and encourage the audience to do the same.

I was so angry by day’s end that I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think.  And then the clouds broke and two women writers that I have always loved made me love them even more by standing up and saying all the things that someone needed to be saying to that misogynist crowd.  They didn’t speak from anger.  They weren’t weepy or hysterical.  They didn’t plead for acceptance by those ignorant, offensive men.  They used their humor and intelligence.  They spoke with calm ferocity.  They stood up and took those men down, peg by peg.

I’m sure tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday will be nothing like that long past experience … not because men like those don’t still exist, but because there’s no full moon, and I just don’t think all of that ugly could come together again in the right configuration to make such a thing possible (and, too, I looked at the schedule, and none of the offenders are on it).   There are some wonderful things on tap, and I’m so excited to have all three days to revel in it, to soak it in!

_____

Check out the rest of the slices of life over at Stacey and Ruth’s.

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8 thoughts on “Filling My Well

  1. molly

    The description of the previous experience is chilling. Grr.
    I certainly hope this time is as wonderful as you are expecting it to be, and then some.

  2. Wow
    I hope this conference’s tone is a bit different and I look forward to hearing from you via your Slices, if that is possible. Moon or not, there are still plenty of voices like that out there, but I am glad you found the positive and that those women stood up and spoke their mind.
    Kevin

    1. Thanks, Kevin. It’s already off to a far better start than the last one, so I’m really optimistic about the rest of the experience. And really, if today was the best the whole event had to offer, today was wonderful, so I’d probably be happy with that!

  3. That sounds like a completely frustrating and totally enlightening experience. I hope this weekend is good for you, and that all the misogynist piggies stay home. Looking forward to hearing about it after you’re back!

    1. I love that you added “enlightening” in there, Jade. You’re right, it definitely was. As for waiting until I get back … I found out today that the school has wi-fi, so I might actually try my hand at live-blogging tomorrow!

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