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You are here: Home > May 2006 > JaWa: Portraits of Lesbians of Color Just as We are

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May 08, 2006

JaWa: Portraits of Lesbians of Color Just as We are

Posted at May 8, 2006 10:33 AM in .

A "Coffee Table" style book with a cause.

“The only people who can change this is us. Straight white people don’t sit around and talk about gay issues. Gay white people do. We have to take charge of our images ourselves. Too many people, other than ourselves, are painting our picture. We have to paint our own canvas.” said Filmmaker Maurice Jamal in 2005 at the NYU panel Gay Black Invisibility Explored.

The lives of Lesbians of color are unique, complex, intense, and revolutionary in their own right. In original essays and photographs, JaWa: Portraits of Lesbians of Color Just as We are will be a moving portrayal of a culture of women who until now have been over looked by the greater LGBTQ community and its allies.


These women will speak of their experiences as a lesbian of color in America and abroad. They are among other things, coworkers, sisters, writers, Christians, Muslims, athletes, mothers, spiritualists, poets, students, daughters, painters, entrepreneurs, socialites, CEOs, musicians, and teachers.

Women featured in the collection will tell how they live their lives on a daily basis, sharing the challenges of being a part of the African American community, where homophobia is alive and well and how they battle together with pride and commitment.

Each story will offer a glimpse into the lives of individual and partnered women, known and unknown, and detail what it means to be a Lesbian of African descent.

These women of all ages will tell how they ‘came out’ to family members and friends, how they foster lasting love relationships, and live, achieve and survive. Inspiring and poignant, JaWa will represent Lesbians of color in fashions never explored, with powerful accounts, of pride, humor, love, and intense emotions.

JaWa: Portraits of Lesbians of Color Just as We are will prove a stimulating celebration of the love and life of Lesbians of color.

The Author’s dream and passion is to “paint our own canvas” by capturing a moment in the world’s history where Lesbians of African descent show the pride of our community.

JaWa: Portraits of Lesbians of Color Just as We are will prove to be a discovery process of the human spirit. While allowing the reader a candid first hand account of the true meaning of our sexual identification through emancipating voices of purity and freedom, JaWa will provide an opposing view from the constrictive socialization that affects the LGBT/SGL community as a whole.

About The Author

Jawa2.jpgTJ Fleming is a writer, poet, parent, and social activist. She currently resides in Raleigh, NC by way of the DC metropolitan area where she attended Coppin State College in Baltimore, MD. The author has over 15 years in the SGL/LGBTQ community and 6 years of authorial experience with a fiction novel Spirit completed in 2003, edited by Pentouch Literary in Washington, DC and has published poetry in several online and print magazines.

About The Photographer

Derek.JPGDerek Mayo, “Mayo”, is a self taught artist whose interest in the arts was fostered while in high school. At the age of 22, while holding his first one-person exhibition in Durham, NC, Mayo decided to actively pursue a full-time career in visual arts. Aside from his great accomplishments in painting with oils, acrylics and watercolors, and drawing with charcoal, pen, pencil and ink; Mayo shares an equal passion in photography and graphic design.

Since his career began, Mayo has participated in the annual Art Gala, held at the NC Museum of Art, sponsored by North Carolina Central University (NCCU), and exhibited pieces at Artist’s Escape, Bradiggins Arts and Crafts Gallery and a campaign fundraiser for Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon.

Mayo’s current works can be found displayed across North Carolina, including Durham Regional Hospital, NCCU and a number of Durham public schools, several area restaurants and local corporations.

Expected shelf date - Spring 2007-
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