Yesterday, The Womanity Project invited Devon as our guest on our daily check-in! Thank you, Devon, for coming on and taking us on a storytelling journey!
Lydia, our Vice President led today’s check-in as our founder was unable to host. Devon is a friend of Womanity, he was featured on one of our episodes last year. He is a writer, a story-teller, public figure. Lydia discusses Womanity’s wish to remain creative during this time and asks devon about his storytelling during this time. “Storytelling has definitely been affected by the pandemic” Our guest shares that he has recently been conducting online shows through zoom and other platforms which he finds is
“something very powerful” for the community
Lydia asks if his writing has been influenced by the pandemic. “I think it has shifted my mind,” says Devon. He used to write mainly about identity, race, fatherhood but feels more of a pressure to write about current events at the moment. The urgency of getting stories in his head onto paper is less of a priority during this time.
Our host reminds us all that our personal stories are still worthy of being written and shared. She extends her thoughts to those who do not consider themselves as writers. Devon comments that some people don’t believe they have stories to tell, to which he says, “you already have stories that are worthy of sharing” He re-centers his thought around the idea that it is easier said than done, as he too, struggles with story-telling worthiness. He shares that his two sons have told him in the past that they don’t understand or see how his work is valuable. On the other hand, when sharing his insecurities and worries in regards to his work, as he worked on a book proposal, his 8-year-old son told him:
“there is no such thing as little progress, dad”
Lydia shares her experience with writing, she started writing for a journal as a columnist. She encourages us to start writing for ourselves rather than validation.
“Writing is such a powerful tool”
Devon promotes his mentor Mathew and his creation: “homework for life” which allows you to detail the most meaningful moments of your day.
Our guest shares his current book idea that has been circling his mind. Having extra time is just as “empowering” as it is “really terrifying” because with this extra time comes no more excuses. “Just running the kids around” cannot be used as procrastination from writing any longer. He found himself not finding ways to write the book, but looking for new excuses. When there are no more of those, the question appears: “am I truly good enough?” He circles back to the theme of the day: worthy. Writing for yourself is different than writing for others.
The book he’s been working on focuses on bias and discrimination. He discusses being interested in the more subtle manifestations of questions around race. “Questioning whether something had to do with my skin color or something else,” for instance. “There are a lot of micro-aggressions that occur”
Devon strives to use his personal experiences as a means to truly investigate and question our society’s conception and manifestations of race. He goes on to share one of his pieces. This piece tells the story of a 6-year-old boy, which happens to be Devon, moving from a predominantly black neighborhood where people are playing on their stoops, to a “cookie-cutter neighborhood,” where girls chase boys on the playground with the goal to kiss them, threatening them with ‘cooties.’ When Devon got chased and caught, however, the girls didn’t kiss him but screamed “eww,” in unison, instead. He recounts “how painful that was.” He then became the kid to chase the girls back and defend the boys.
Thank you for joining us yesterday and be sure to tune-in later today at noon @thewomanityproject for our daily-check-in!