On an elemental level, I like Eve Ewing.
Her entire being is a vibe, and that vibe radiates a quiet, palpable power. I am reminded of an interview years ago when Sistah Souljah was commissioned by Essence magazine to interview Jada Pinkett. There was some static at the gate before she could get in, and Jada had to diffuse it. There was a quote she used that I pocketed to reuse as I needed along the journey as a Black woman and writer:
“Queens recognize Queens.”
Let me tell you a little about who this particular Queen is. Eve is a woman of many talents. Along with her Doctorate in Sociology, she is a writer and visual artist. She is the marvelous Wikipedia Brown on Twitter and the pen and vision behind the revamping of Iron-Man as Ironheart (as a Black girl named RiRi Williams). She is a published author still living in her hometown of Chicago–she is resident, product and revolutionary.
There is something dynamic and honest when successful Black women stay where they were raised. Who want to change the blocks they played on. Who lend voice and word to what is wrong, what is being covered up, and what needs to change–like yesterday. There is a power in owing every part of the city you were raised in: not letting the bad define you, neither the good blind you.
Eve Ewing is the Black girl I wished for when I was growing up here in St. Louis. To be young, gifted and Black can be quite lonely when you don’t see anyone else that looks like you desiring to move as you do. I love the fact that in her shoot for The Cut, she wore a black outfit and camo Air Force Ones—hightops at that! I love that the reporter referred to her by her academic title. I love the fact that she is a poet and scholar, with yet another book I need to add to my ever-expanding TBR List (Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s Southside). I love that she has a book of poems coming out based on the research she did for said book!
Queens recognize Queens. We see problems and execute solutions. We do the hard work, rally resources and make things happen. Queens do Queen-level work because there are no other options. Keep making moves, sis. We see you.
[images from The Cut and Chicago Tribune]