Black women are negotiating the different stages of menopause along with their ever evolving identifies, relationships, careers, responsibilities and societal tropes. This is a curated intergenerational exchange, a space for exploration, mentorship, intimacy and vulnerability around life, identity a… read more
" we would never leave you. we would never leave you here. we would never leave the world like this. that's why we put you here. you hear us? we put maps behind your eyes and over the entire sky. we put stories everywhere you stepped. but child services would have called it neglect."
Dub : Finding Ceremony, Alexis Pauline Gumbs
We all carry stories. Some of us like loose change absentmindedly left in a coat pocket. Others like an obedient acolyte carrying the sacred text of our grandmothers. Oftentimes, the stories we carry don't even belong to us. They belong to a lost relative, an old lover, or a dear friend. We declare fealty to the stories handed down to us through our lineage. The stories shared in the kitchen, at the family reunion or the hushed tones of a death bed. They are precious, they are specters that haunt, they are us. As we are transformed by age and time, our stories are invited to evolve. New perspective and sometimes new information changes the tenor of what happened. We get to turn the story over in our hands and touch the backing---see the work that went into it. No matter how we see it or how we treat it, it belongs to us and we are the star.
In this episode of The Black Girl's Guide to Surviving Menopause, we talk with Courtney Reid-Eaton about stories. Her story, the stories of her parents and her immigrant grandparents and the ways in which narratives shift and morph without loosing integrity as we age. Courtney is a culture worker, creative engine, spouse, mother, and Black Feminist. She has been the exhibitions director at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) since 2001, overseeing the selection, scheduling, curation, design, and installation of exhibits in all of the Center’s galleries and organizing related public programs; she also serves as the creative director of CDS’s pilot Documentary Diversity Project. In 2013, after attending her first anti-oppression workshop, she committed to pursuing an activist curatorial practice that primarily centers the work of people of color and women.
Courtney is also a visual artist, rooted in documentary expression, striving for an emancipatory practice that upends white supremacist frameworks. Her journey so far has taken her through theatre studies, work in magazine production, two children (now adults), a nonprofit community gallery, a documentary photography collective, a Montessori school, a transformative concentration at the Penland School of Crafts, to CDS, which continues to stretch and challenge her.
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