Ava Duvernay Gives Me Permission to Exist
When I saw this cover today, I nearly burst into tears of pride and joy.
Because Ava Duvernay is my evidence.
I am always afraid whenever I speak out against injustice, because I worry if I’m pushing myself further out on the margins. Will my career suffer because of all these articles about racial and gender injustice? Do I say too much, too often? Should I self-censor?
So I often go to Ava’s twitter account as a way to ask for permission. Is she as outraged as I am? Is she afraid to speak out? Has she said anything about this injustice? But she never is afraid. She is right there with us, deep in the trenches, fighting our wars with us. And she does it while still rejoicing in the wonders of the world. She’s figured it out. How to dive deep into the ugliness of humanity (see her film 13th); and how to produce black magic on screen (see Queen Sugar); and how to maintain a child like excitement at the world (see her insta-stories).
I’m so thankful for this woman because she is my evidence.
That speaking truth to power is our duty, and we can find a way to thrive despite it all.
This cover is everything to me. I want it poster size so I can put it on my bedroom wall like a teenage girl looking up at her idol. She could be the only image on my vision board, and I’d manifest everything I’ve ever wanted to be.
Thank you @essencemag for this cover. For giving me permission to be the way I am, without fear. Like a little nudge from my fairy Godmother that I’m doing alright.