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Illuminating Birds Saturday Events Series with poet Sojourner Ahebee

Saturday, September 30, 2023

2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Between Hawk & Buzzard: A Writing Workshop in Black Flight

Birds and bird imagery are featured prominently in African American cultural production of the 19th century, particularly as they relate to freedom songs, prayers, idioms and abolitionist speeches of the period. Flying is freedom, and for formerly enslaved people like Sojourner Truth, the process of learning how to fly again in the afterlife of slavery required an intentional process of repossessing one's value and sense of self outside the confines of the slave economy.

In the 1800s, people would assemble visual and written materials from external sources and place them in a notebook they called "commonplace books." Through a series of generative writing prompts, a discussion of Truth's speeches, life, and legacy, and an immersive audio experience, we'll create our own commonplace books and map out the tools and materials that make our freedom possible.

Poet and audio storyteller, Sojourner Ahebee (she/her) archives moments of intimacy between Black women. She writes about insecurity of historical archives and insecurity as a feeling that connects us to our most powerful desires.

Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, NPR, The Academy of American Poets, MSNBC and on your grandmother’s radio. A recipient of the MacDowell Colony creative writing fellowship, her debut poetry chapbook, "Reporting from the Belly of the Night," was released in 2017.

This workshop is limited to 10 people and recommended for ages 18+. This event is free with museum admission. By registering, you are purchasing your admission. Click here to register.

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The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103


  • Everyone