Inspired | Ava DuVernay

I watch Scandal from time to time but I’m no die hard gladiator and although my interest in independent films is on the verge of obsessive, I’m still fairly new to major directors. However there is one director that has not only created beautiful films but revolutionized the way I see myself.

When we envision a revolutionary we often imagine an undefeated warrior yet most revolutionaries create change in a different fashion. Revolutionaries don’t always have to be conquerors armed with weapons to destroy but instead they offer tools to reinvent a way of thinking.

Excuse me if I impose this prematurely (yet rightfully), but I believe that director, Ava DuVernay is revolutionary in every sense of the word. Through her film work I am able to see a reinvention of the way I perceive myself and the way I am perceived. 

There is a lot of baggage that comes with being young, female, tech savvy and black. One glance at me in public and you may think that I’m self entitled, naive, boisterous (depending on my hair) and a horrible communicator. Some probably already think my index finger and thumb are permanently glued to my phone case. Although this image is often glamorized on the small and silver screen, sometimes I stop to wonder “Is this healthy?”

I wonder if it’s ok to be that “ain’t got no man/workaholic on her 5th non paid internship/with started from the bottom friends/who will faithfully post birthday shoutouts to her instagramless mother rather than putting those same words in a card” girl.  (WHEW!)
Do I feel guilty sometimes? Yes. Does that mean I’ll stop? Probably not. However it wasn’t until I watched Say Yes presented by Fashion Fair and directed Ava DuVernay did I realize that what I needed in my life is a whole new perspective of myself.

It’s hard to argue that you don’t do what society wants you to do, but you can’t deny that it doesn’t help validate your personal perception. I often battle internally with who it is that I am and whether or not I’m true to my generation and society’s definition of normal.

Do I value face to face communication or am I a zombie to technology? Can I be African-American and fabulous or should I settle for average so that I don’t catch anyone off guard? Are my standards and heels too high for any man to rise to the occasion or can I value good old fashion love? There are so many things I question and constantly find myself in a tug of war between #TeamOldSoul and #TeamNewSchool.

Yet DuVernay’s films (or two short films in particular) help me bridge that gap. It’s ok to be seen as that woman but don’t think that’s where it stops.

In both Say Yes and The Door I got to see what it’s really like to! Although my current situation is different than that of the main characters, I understand that I have been (or will be there) at least once. And through the casting of a women that look like, I, can embrace who I am as a young black tech savvy millennial and find confidence and a strong love and commitment to sisterhood, conversation, celebration and true love.

Beautiful. And for this I salute you Ava DuVernay. Well done, continue to break the mold.

See the short films below:

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