Dear All Lives Matter
Written in 2016 Dear All Lives Matter was written after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. This poem is Janelle's attempt reconcile her silence and her anger in constructive ways.
Plays and Short Films
RAGE, a stage play
Elevator Project, AT&T Performing Arts Center
Dallas, Tx, March 31-April 9, 2022
RAGE is a one-act play that explores the stories of Black US-ian women throughout the history of the United States. Ten women take their place on stage to share their stories of strength, resilience, perseverance and struggle across the history of the nation. From the 1842 Cherokee Revolt, to the Streetcar Boycotts of 1900-1906 and the continuing injustices of our traumatic present, RAGE honors the spirit and tenacity of our foremothers and is a dedication to no longer ignore the voices of Black women. This play encourages the audience to witness varying methods of rebellion as they truly are and displays moments of Black women’s greatest resistances against dehumanization and degradation.
In the aftermath of yet another school shooting, six high school senior journalists organize a march to share their voice only to find that the social issues outside of their cozy high school atmosphere run just as deep in their own friend group. #voiced is a play about social consciousness in the next generation.
When the African-American staff at an African-American Museum sees an opening to reclaim the power to tell their own stories, they find that they aren't the only ones pulling at the strings of the major donor, putting their voices, their jobs, and their freedom all on the line.
Expat by any other name
February 10 was my two-year anniversary in Colombia. When I moved, my friend, Kathryn, was doing a documentary about people emigrating from the U.S. So, I am fortunate enough to have footage of this huge change in my life...
Sometimes you never know the experience you’re having until you’ve had it. In South Africa, I sat on balconies in hammocks, I drank wine on rooftop patios, I stood in the high courts, and walked the Apartheid Museum. Statues and images of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela watched over my shoulder from almost anywhere in the city. Heroes from the war against apartheid are tattooed...
Trouble Called Peace
I write. My spirit, my human, my existence is wrapped up in pen and paper, thought and blank canvas. I have great respect for words and acknowledge the power in their dispensation. Because of that, I sometimes cower at the responsibility of it all.
In a 2008 acceptance speech, Toni Morrison talked about the role a writer has. “Writers are trouble,” she said. “Writers...these people disturb the social oppression that functions like a coma on a population, a coma despots call...