A team from the Global Arts and Theology Experience returned to Seattle to worship with UCUCC as a transitional moment in our partnership with the congregation. In addition, we were also there to lay the foundation for the launch of GATE’s Womanist Storytelling Project. This new initiative serves as a bridge initiative for the launch of the Black Girl Magic Academy. The Womanist Storytelling Project seeks to use the arts and digital media as a tool to recover and amplify the narratives of Black women in local communities. Part of our work in the Beyoncé Mass is to facilitate a conversation about storytelling and art as integral parts of God’s work in the world. This initiative continues the work of storytelling as a crucial mechanism for God’s creative, redemptive work.
During our time we collected stories of Black women in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area. Our original intention was to film Black girls and women sharing a part of their story as a part of the narrative of how Black women have transformed the greater Seattle area. While there we spoke with five Black womxn ranging in age from 16 to 76 years old. These are all people with whom we developed relationships around the Beyoncé Mass. We were only able to film one woman because most of the people were uncomfortable telling their story on camera in an initial conversation. Instead, we were able to have a range of conversations about how Black women are showing up in Seattle. We also had meaningful conversation about how GATE can help create brave, safer space for Black women and nonbinary people. Our work in Seattle was a strong beginning to continuing to amplify Black women, and open up sacred space that reflects their presence in the world.
— Rev. Yolanda Norton