If you are reading this it means that you continue to find my occasional missives worth reading. Thank you!
If you are reading this you may be one of the writers I worked with this year on the art of storytelling, the craft and the art of writing. Thank you! If you are reading this you may have invited me to speak before your organization, your book club, or nonprofit. Thank you! Your continued interest in my workshops and seminars, my books and my thoughts and projects means so much to me. It affirms my passionate commitment to the power of words, language and literature and the creative very intimate act of holding writer’s stories in a safe and sacred space.
A few things from 2023 that I look back on with thanks:
- My spiritual practice which involves prayer, meditation, days of silence and the ways and the whys that I retooled that practice and made it more rigorous and as a result more fulfilling. Talking with audiences about The New Black Woman and the practices of silence and meditation was very satisfying, as I learned that more and more people are interested in and creating spiritual practices that restore and replenish their souls.
- Black women’s hair. Lord God Almighty! How glorious is Black women’s hair? I loved watching in 2023 all the styles and expressions and artistry of Black women’s hairstyles in cable shows, streaming services, movies, on social media. Whether the show was The Chi or Found Black women rocked hairstyles as impressive as The Pyramids! And they normalized the beauty of our unique style. While discrimination based on hairstyle still exists and punishes too many Black women in the workplace, in media, and cultural expression The Crown Act is the law of the land. All the many shades of intricate beauty that is Black women’s hair was a beautiful sight to see this year, all over mass media, sight I expect to continue and expand. And Black women rock even bald!!!
- Invisible Beauty which is a totally satisfying visually beautiful documentary about the life of trailblazing model Bethann Hardison who in the 1970’s became one of the first high-profile Black models and later an activist for greater inclusion of Black models in the very white world of fashion. Hardison’s story is about individual and group power, and about being fearless, as well as the truth of Fredrick Douglass’ admonition to each generation to wage the war for equality and justice all the time on all fronts. At 81 Hardison is beautiful and still shaking things up.
- Watching the increased commitment of so many of us to support libraries, books and the act of reading in the face of increased bans on books around the country.
- The women I worked with this year in my memoir workshops. These brave women chose to work with me as an act of discovery and creation of their lives and their stories. I learn so much from the writers I work with. I learn how to teach (every workshop teaches me a new lesson) and how we are all connected in our joy and in our sorrow. Congratulations again to Bernardine Watson who I worked with on her memoir Transplant for all the great press the book has received.
- New friends! Old Friends! My family. My extended family.
- Being honored for my forty-year writing career in a program at Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington, D.C. It was a joyous and emotional ceremony at Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on December 7th a day that was proclaimed Marita Golden Day in Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
- Another year with my husband Joe Murray!
Marita Golden is the author of over 20 works of fiction and nonfiction. She is Co-founder and President Emerita of the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Foundation. As a teacher of writing, she has served as a member of the faculties of the MFA Graduate Creative Writing Programs at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University and served as a Distinguished Visiting Writer in the MA Creative Writing Program at John Hopkins University, and at the University of the District of Columbia. She has taught writing workshops nationally and internationally to a variety of constituencies and is a writing coach, workshop presenter, and literary consultant.