Creativity, Liberation and Fountain Pens

Last week I had the pleasure of co-facilitating a workshop with Erin Fairchild about the healing found through intentional reflective and liberatory practices, particularly journaling.

It was so nourishing y’all.

“Creativity is the key to unlock human liberation.” – Grace Lee Boggs

Throughout my career and community/movement work, I’ve often had to choose between prioritizing my creativity or “doing the work.”

It was either/or, very rarely was it ok to integrate the creative and artistic parts of my identity, so a beautiful part of me got shelved. A part of me that could have offered so much to these spaces.

It could have added to my joy.

Art, journaling practices, painting, fountain pens, and inks all bring me deep joy.  And yet, we’ve created norms and expectations which have kept many of us from bringing that deep creative joy to the work.

The master’s tools y’all…

Art practices recharge me. They allows me to continue to do this important yet never-ending, emotionally depleting work of racial equity and liberation.

Grace Lee Boggs spoke the truth- creativity is essential for us to deepen and connect community.

Creativity plays a big role in forming our ideas about the world and about ourselves.

How I showed up and thought about social justice work at 15, 25, 35, at 45 has evolved.

But my creative work, whether it be paintings or writing, has always centered around  being a Black woman and Black culture –these anchored how I saw myself as a practitioner and always emerged in all the art I created.

When we free our minds from what’s expected of us and use our imagination to create something new, something inspiring to us, that is liberatory.

We can use art and creativity practices for introspection, consciousness-raising, and education. We can use creativity to help deepen our analysis and give us better tools for fighting systems. We can tap into art and creativity to help us unpack the ways that we collude, the ways that we are privileged, and the ways that we internalize oppression.

Image paper, red ink, and a pen

Creativity will help us move out of ourselves towards others; it is a place to build coalition and solidarity. 

  • How do you know when you’re longing for some creative experience?
  • What does it feel like when you get to engage with your creativity?
  • What helps you tap into the place within you wired for creation? (Music, poetry, pens, home improvements, film, learn to dance TikToks, the sky’s the limit!) 
  • How does creativity inform how you show up to equity and justice work?
  • What do you see as the connection between creativity and liberation?

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