I Went To The First Well-Read Black Girl Festival and Remembered I Was Born to Write—And Read | OkayAfrica It took several years for me to call myself a writer, and two decades to actually believe it.

I once wrote that sometimes black women have a harder time claiming this identity (that of a writer) because we aren’t exposed to many black women writers in school. We know the classics, womanly wordsmiths who weave sentences into tapestries depicting a vivid fabric of the black female experience. Maya Angelou. Toni Morrison. Alice Walker. But I wasn’t taught about these women in public school. No, I was force-fed the realities and imaginations of white male authors, and although I found some notable, most felt superficial, politely racist and bland. But most importantly, they made me feel lonely. I wanted to write, but there weren’t many black women to show me the way. To make me feel at home.


The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).