INSPIRATION FOR THE MIND, HEART, AND SOUL

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+ Ashanti Marshall

one: what is your name and where are you located ?

A - Hello hello hey hello hello! My name is Ashanti Marshall and I call Chicago home (for now). 

two: what do you feel is your calling in life ?

A - I know my calling in life is storytelling. Curating a living history of the emotional identity of queer black women. Preserving the present as best I can while living in it. 

three: when did you realize your self-worth and how has this journey of self-discovery been for you ? what have you learned the most about yourself ?  

A - I realized my worth when I had no other options. No one to turn to. No one to talk to. No one to journey with but myself. My journey of self-discovery is always unfolding. I learn patience and commitment with myself everyday, in different ways. 

four: how has your struggles helped you to become a better woman ?

A - My struggles have shaped me into a better woman by giving me the opportunity to exercise humanity and humility with myself. The journey to Self isn’t easy but just because it’s hard doesn’t make it impossible. 

five: who or what motivates you to create ?

A - The legacy of named and unnamed queer black women of the past and present motivate me to share our stories. My mission in life is to artfully articulate and curate the stories of queer black women across the world. Travelling, listening, feeling. 

six: what is your long time passion in life ?

A - My longtime passion in this life is poetry and feeling completely, whether it is considered too intense or not enough. I understand I am whole in any moment. 

seven: if you could give any tips or advice to the young girls and women around the world who suffer with loving and accepting who they are, what would you say ?

A - To the young black girls and women of the world suffering with loving and accepting who you are, I say this: You have no option but to accept who you are. You can only become more lovely as the world and life experiences influence your blooming. Know that every flower is unique and different and no less beautiful and special because of their differences.

eight: what do you feel needs to be told to our beautiful women of color ? do you feel that us women of color hear those words often ? if not, what can we do as a community to change that. . .

A - To the beautiful black women everywhere, your beauty, both inner and outer, is not a monolith. Do not regard it as such. Let healing take its place, let it stay as long as it needs to. We don’t hear this enough, there’s no middle ground with our expression, it’s portrayed as black and white. Angry black women or carefree black girl. Guess what? We can be both at the same time and so much more, we get to decide how we are defined. 

Are there any social media links that you'd like to share, if so please do not hesitate to leave the links down below.

A - Keep up with the feelings of black queer women at blackampersand.co, I curate content there. Find me on Twitter: @blackampersand and Instagram at @blackampersand