Image: Domino Powell
I'm completely in awe of you and the film. I was completely mesmerised by the way you wove real magic into the story. You go from talking about soul wounds to the resilience and beauty, through to the future, the strength and the legacy. Can you tell me a little bit more about you journey into creating it was like? I feel that you were able to create this homage and poem - a love letter to Black women, as you call it – and I feel like you take us as the viewer into your journey as well.
Well, it was a hard one because in order to make it, I did about eight or nine months of research where I dedicated six days a week, 14 hours a day to researching Black women's experience in America and black culture in America. So, you know, I was reading every book I could find by Black women, every book written about Black women. I was in archive centres reading slave narratives and just basically immersing myself in this culture.
The first two months were very, very hard. I would spend most of the day in bed crying. And I realised that I had to get back into therapy because I was holding on to so much and I was reading all these things and I was filled with so much anger and rage and sadness and also just disappointment in myself initially because I thought, ‘how am I thirty two years old and did not know this, how do I not know any of this?’
I had to realise and give myself permission to understand that what we're taught in schools in America is revisionist history. We're not really taught the history of this country. And so knowing that empowered me to say, OK, if we're taught revisionist history and what I'm learning is the actual truth of this country, how do I allow that to fuel this storytelling in a way that not only empowers Black women, but that shed light on the true history?
Getting back into therapy and reframing what I was experiencing, as well as doing a research phase, empowered me in so many ways because then I felt an obligation to not only myself, but to the legacy of Black women and also to the ancestors who are no longer here, because this country was built on the backs of them. I felt an obligation to push through it and find a way to tell the story that was not only a form of truth telling, but also that could keep the viewers engaged and not want to disconnect because it was so hard to sit through.