written by Jayshana Roper
FUZEDmagazine is proud to introduce writer, spoken word artist, musician and movie maker: Monica Sekhmet Grant. This black queer woman, and Michigan native, redefines the saying “The sky’s the limit,” and shoots for the stars in all that she does. Her most recent endeavor, an interview-style documentary addressing the intricacies of black womanhood, aired May 30th on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), and we were lucky enough to speak with the artist exclusively.
In Ms. Grant’s own words: “Every Sister Has a Story to Tell is my answer to the Black Woman’s call to see more women like themselves on television and film.[…] It was not my goal to create a fairy tale nor a story of victimization, but one simply of truth, which is ultimately the most powerful.”
Every Sister Has a Story to Tell presents seven black women of various backgrounds and representations. The women give their experience with growing up and romance, along with their opinions on success and the state of Black America. Included in the discussion are the effects of the 80s crack era, navigating lesbianism in a heterosexual world, and the changes the ladies feel must come to improve our society.
Tevina, from Brooklyn, leaves a strong mark with her calm demeanor as she discusses the way the neighborhood’s crack use shaped her personhood. Even her own father fell subject to the drug’s pull. However, she grows up to understand that no one is “just a crack head”. As many people who struggle with their own addictions, or loved ones’, she reminds us that addicts are sick, but they are people. These sort of powerful lessons remain constant throughout from all the women.
One of the most impactful quotes comes from Ede Fox in the opening:
“[Black women] are called on to do so much… and at the same time be so many things to different people, and not really given the freedom to be ourselves.”
Every black woman; from the inner city to suburbia, and on any part of the sexuality spectrum; can relate to those words. In America, since slavery, black women were forced to be caretakers and sacrifice their individuality for domestic servitude. Nowadays, the black man is just as guilty of being underappreciative and toxic towards the black woman as every other person. Songs about “bad redbones” and “unloyal hoes” paint incomplete pictures of the complexities of black womanhood. However, women such as Ms. Grant and her revolutionary predecessors continue to try and paint the true picture.
“Because they were willing to be open, intimate and vulnerable, Every Sister Has a Story to Tell exposes the raw beauty of Black Women rarely seen in popular culture. I am very proud of this project, and every sister that had the guts to sit in the hot seat because she trusted my vision.”
Thank you, Monica, for sharing your vision with us.