Sister Writers Immersing Fully in Truth
S.W.I.F.T. Movement Mission Statement
The S.W.I.F.T. Movement mission is to uplift the voices of women of African descent born and/or living in America by providing a brave space in which they can reclaim their voice and engage in self-exploration and self-expression through the use of creative writing, storytelling, art and performing arts.
Purpose of S.W.I.F.T. Movement
In America, the history of Black women voices have been underrepresented and many times ignored completely. The stories that Black women have to communicate are stories that need to be conveyed. There has to be safe spaces that provide Black women the chance to explore their authentic voices. Hence, the reason S.W.I.F.T. Movement exists is due to my experience as a Black woman born and raised in Boston, MA. My thesis paper Sister Writers Immersing Fully in Truth (S.W.I.F.T): Using Creative Writing to Reclaim Voice, Speak Truth, and Shape Identity as a Woman of African Descent Living in America is the inspiration for starting this creative expression group. Since I did not feel there was a space in which I could get together with other creative Black women, I created one.
Excerpt from thesis mentioned above:
Black women have been overcoming the obstacles that seek to keep their voice and their existence silent—considering the messengers before the messages and challenging their intentions. Thus, allowing them to validate themselves instead of “[becoming] validated through other people” (Fordham, 1993, p.12). Self-validation amongst Black women is crucial for their identity development and self-expression as Black women. For Black women in America, it is more than vital to their survival that they start to create for themselves the images that they wish to see—that they tell the stories that are not being told. The images and stories that portray Black women in a degrading manner have to be addressed by Black women themselves. As Jones & Shorter-Gooden (2003) explains, “Black women have many means of self-expression, each with its own cadence and power” and “whether or not their words are heard by the masses or recorded in the ledgers of history, the unique “Blackspeak” so many Black women use to express themselves is closely tied to both their personal and their cultural identity” (p. 99). Clearly, Black women are the experts of their own experiences. Alice Walker (1983) highlights an important point in respects to Black women and expressing their voice. She states “we inherit a great responsibility as well, for we must give voice to centuries not only of silent bitterness and hate but also of neighborly kindness and sustaining love” (p. 21). Black women’s use of the platforms made available to them has made it possible for them to become aware of the environment around them and how it impacts their ability to self-explore, self-express and self-identify. In addition, it demonstrates the importance of Black women supporting other Black women in the journey to make sense of self as a woman of African descent born and/or living in America.
Thesis: Lewis-Grimes, T. (2014). “Sister Writers Immersing Fully in Truth (S.W.I.F.T): Using Creative Writing to Reclaim Voice, Speak Truth, and Shape Identity as a Woman of African Descent Living in America”.
- Fordham, S. (1993). “Those loud black girls”: (black) women, silence, and gender “Passing” In the academy. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 24(1), 3-32.
- Jones, C., & Shorter-Gooden, K. (2003). Shifting : The double lives of black women in america (1st ed.). New York: HarperCollins.
- Walker, A. (1983). In search of our mothers’ gardens : Womanist prose (1st Harvest/HBJ ed.). San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Features of S.W.I.F.T. Movement:
S.W.I.F.T. Movement Newsletter
Bi-Monthly newsletter featuring articles written by the members of S.W.I.F.T. Movement.
S.W.I.F.T. Movement Sister Circles
The S.W.I.F.T. Sister Circles provides a brave space in which young women of African Decent can explore topics and issues related to being a young woman in today’s society through the use of creative writing, storytelling, art and performing arts.
S.W.I.F.T. Movement Workshops
Through a series of large and small group discussions, interactive activities, video clips, photographs, etc., young women will explore issues related to race, gender, class, self-identity, self-love, self-esteem, etc.
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