Over the last few years, I’ve started to pay attention to the specific ways writing functions in my life outside of a creative outlet. Aside from being a space to explore my imagination and storytelling, these are the specific ways writing has served a therapeutic function in my life:

  1. My private writing allows me a space of unbridled honesty. The catch is, I have to be willing to be honest. As Octavia Butler once said, “Perhaps the act of writing itself was a kind of therapy”. Unlike public platforms which are subject to other people’s opinions, my private writing allows me to speak my entire, unprocessed truth in all of its complexities and contradictions without the opinions or views of others shaping it. It allows me to sit with and in my feelings and sort through them , even and especially when I don’t like them. It doesn’t demand…


If you saw any of the shows on my Becoming//Black Spring Tour, there is a 50/50 chance you heard me recite “The Gospel of Colonization”. Though my tour this spring was to push Becoming//Black once more before writing my next two books, I shared newer pieces if I had time. I’ve often described Becoming//Black as an immigration story and in doing so, realized that this next collection in many ways in my emigration story. .

I often ask myself questions in an attempt to get to a point of understanding, and people call the answers I write out ‘poetry’…


how you treat a woman should
never be based on her proximity to
another’s humanity.

perhaps she is someone’s

daughter.mother.sister.wife.

(perhaps even yours)

but first, and always,
she should be…

…is

her own.

so many girls are brought up hungry to receive
the reverence relations to men claim to offer,

so many girls grow into women starved
of their own humanity.

— —

I wrote this piece reflecting on how often men are told that they should respect or honor women because “she could be your sister/mom/woman family member”. Fuck that. You should treat women with respect because they are human beings, not because of their proximity to malehood -_-


it would starve in a house made of kitchens
(it seems to only knows how to make meals of women’s bodies),

it thinks Mr. Clean is a real live person,

it is still telling people the air is suddenly ‘dusty’ every time
you watch Set It Off instead of just admitting that shit is sad and made you cry.

Yo masculinity so fragile,

it thinks saying you do something like a girl is an insult,

thinks getting receiving a compliment from a man makes him
or you gay,

so fragile,
it thinks you need to be a dick
and have one
in…


Photo of boat ride from Robben Island taken in May 2017

after crossing waters where my kin still stand,
unable to find eternal rest on ocean beds,
i find myself floating in a sea of Black
faces from every current that licks the coast
of this continent.

i am lost at see.
i am emerging in every face
my eyes behold between blinks.
i hear myself in every turn of the tongue
regardless of the language that confines it.

i have floated so far from for the shores of reality
when my suitcase grazes lightly,
like a full gazelle,
against another woman’s bag.

i return from the paradise my mind has…


Imagine you’re driving home from work. Expecting an uneventful ride, you’re surprised to see the blinding glare of police lights in front of you. As your eyes adjust to the scene, other things start coming into view.

A woman who is holding a baby. A police officer who is holding the woman holding the baby in some sort of chokehold. A crowd slowly swelling around them.

You stop your car in the middle of the street and run over to them, thoughts racing of their potential fate. You get ahold of the child and hand them off to a bystander, and hear yourself repeatedly calling to the officer — “Be human!” — only to be met with a blank stare as he maintains his hold on the woman.

For the full article, visit Rewire


Make up by Karmen Cosmetics, custom top/cape by Aya Designs Global, both Black women owned and operated New Orleans based businesses you should support.
Watch my TEDWomen talk (published Feb 1st, 2018)

Follow my work/join my newsletter at www.freequencyspeaks.com | instagram: @MwendersInSuspenders |Facebook Artist Profile

Venmo @Mwende-Katwiwa | CashApp $mkatwiwa | Paypal: www.Paypal.me/freequency OR Mwende Travel@gmail.com

On Sept 27th, 2017 I received an email from TEDWomen inviting me to share my poetry at their upcoming conference. The conference was themed ‘Bridges’ and featured 6 sessions — Build, Design, Connect, Suspend, Burn and Re-build — with each session featuring a 4–6 minute performance by a poet. …

Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa

www.freequencyspeaks.com • writer•builder•breaker•truth teller•author of Becoming//Black•panAfricanist•prolly wearing a cape but can't save no one but myself

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