|Posted by WOMA on March 5, 2012 at 6:30 PM|
My name is Alisha Sommer and this is my womanifesting story. Something inside of me changed with the birth of my daughter. I wanted her to grow up with a strong sense of self. I wanted her to be fearless - to be able to stand up for her beliefs and to not be afraid to express her opinions. I wanted her to know that she is divine - to know that her dreams are worthy of pursuit. However, I needed to believe all of these things for myself.
So I set out on a path of self-recovery. I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and began to write everyday. Through the process of journaling, I remembered all of these dreams that at one time filled my heart, but had been stuffed away, packed up in boxes, and shelved for some indeterminate time.
Every page opened a box, each one containing the same dream that seemed unfamiliar, and yet felt so comfortable, that it could no longer be ignored. I was supposed to be a writer.
Last fall I spent 4 weeks in New Orleans napping, eating cake, laughing with family and watching Alfred Hitchcock every night before bed. I really needed this visit. My body needed it. My mind needed it. My heart needed it.
One Wednesday, I visited the New Orleans Museum of Art. Though housed in a beautiful building, with a nice collection, I was disappointed that a city with such a large black population did not have a significant representation of black artists.
I left the museum frustrated that once again I could not find a reflection of myself. And these feelings of disappointment and confusion have plagued me for the past year. I was so tired of not finding more work by more women who looked like me. After having a conversation with a friend about the need to help women of color gain access and give them exposure, I decided that it was time to act.
Blackberry is born out of my passion to giving others a voice. It will give African-American women a new platform to share their art. Our voice is one that is often silenced. Ignored. Pushed aside. And I am tired of feeling invisible.
This new age of publishing is an opportunity to make our voices heard and it is an opportunity not to be squandered. Our experience is a varied one and by giving our art more exposure we will enrich the entire creative community.
Blackberry is not just the fulfillment of my own dream, but the breath of life into the dreams of other black women.
Submissions for Blackberry www.storiesofsommer.com/blackberry/are now open for the first issue which is set to debut no later than June 2012. My Kickstarter proposal was approved and I will be kicking off my campaign in February 2012. The goal is to raise enough money to fund print and digital editions of the magazine as well as a corresponding website. However, regardless of funding, I hope to see this vision through.
Alisha Sommer is a 20-something mother of three and a writer on a journey to examine the power of her words by sharing stories from the soul. She is a truth-sayer, a soul-whisperer, a seeker. She is a deep thinker, an illuminator and a dreamer. She is an encourager, an inspirer, a word-crafter. And she bares it all at www.AlishaSommer.com