Yesterday marked the beginning of Women’s History Month and today is Women of Color Day.
Which is cool because I’ve been thinking about Octavia Butler a lot over the last days since her death. What a trailblazer Butler was. As a black woman writing in a genre that is still very male and white, she kicked down a lot of doors. Her writing is deft and clever and the weight of what’s between the lines in her books is better than what a lot of people say straight out. Her death is a great loss to the creative world.
Other authors of color who’ve fired my imagination? Sandra Cisneros whose short novel, House on Mango Street remains a favorite some fifteen years after I read it the first time. I wish she’d get more attention, her writing is unique and beautiful.
Isabel Allende – her books, all very different but all amazing, are on my keeper shelf. I remember reading In the House of the Spirits and when I finished it, I put it down for an hour and picked it up and read it again. Daughter of Fortune is a marvelous historical covering a period of time rarely written about in fiction and nearly unheard of from the woman’s perspective.
When it comes to inspiration – Audre Lorde is someone whose words have given me something to hold onto when things get bad or when I’m needing something to push me through.
Her writing on sexual identity is insightful and revolutionary.
Amy Tan‘s narrative on family, especially mothers and daughters is beautiful and inspiring.
More women who’ve had a huge impact on my life and identity as a woman and a feminist: bell hooks, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Delores Huerta, Marian Wright Edelman (who inspired me to go to law school and work on behalf of abused children)
There are many more and I hestitate doing this one entry because I don’t want to make it seem like it’s just a one day thing. Celebrating creativity and passion should happen every day. But I thought it’d be nice to celebrate special today.
I’ll be doing more over the month because I love women. I love being a woman and it’s important to celebrate sisterhood when you can.