[Blackstudies-l] Ibi Zoboi and the Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project (Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora)

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Tue Jul 25 11:57:51 EDT 2017


ivetteromero posted: " Jennifer Baker interviews Haitian-American author
Ibi Zoboi (for School Library Journal). Here are excerpts from the article,
which focuses on literacy and her work with Haitian-American teens through
the Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project (DAWP). Ac"
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New post on *Repeating Islands*
<http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/> Ibi Zoboi and the
Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project
<http://repeatingislands.com/2017/07/24/ibi-zoboi-and-the-daughters-of-anacaona-writing-project/>
by
ivetteromero <http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/>

*[image: DAWP]*

*Jennifer Baker interviews Haitian-American author Ibi Zoboi
<http://ibizoboi.net/> (for School Library Journal
<http://www.slj.com/2017/06/teens-ya/ibi-zoboi-on-literacy-and-her-work-with-haitian-american-teens/#_>).
Here are excerpts from the article, which focuses on literacy and her work
with Haitian-American teens through the Daughters of Anacaona Writing
Project
<http://ibizoboi.net/2010/10/dawp-in-brooklyn-dawp-anthology> (DAWP).
According to the interviewer, Zoboi will be speaking on a panel about
immigration and refugees in YA books during SLJ’s sixth annual SLJTeenLive!
virtual conference
<https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=1449068&sessionid=1&key=7481BCF488B0C27749727F9F3BBA0979&sourcepage=register>
on
August 9, 2017. [Also see our previous post on her recent book American
Street
<https://repeatingislands.com/2017/02/16/book-launch-ibi-zobois-american-street/>.]*

Debut author Ibi Zoboi <http://ibizoboi.net/>’s *American Street*
(HarperCollins,
Feb. 2017), an unflinching look at immigration and race, has already garnered
lots of starred reviews
<http://www.slj.com/2017/02/reviews/american-street-by-ibi-zoboi-slj-review/>
and
buzz. A longtime educator and writer, Zoboi, who recently keynoted SLJ/LJ’s
Public Library Think Tank
<http://lj.libraryjournal.com/public-library-think-tank/schedule/>, has
founded multiple projects focusing on the Haitian American and Haitian
community. Her focus is on teen girls, both in Brooklyn and Haiti, and
helping them get in touch with their critical reading and writing
skills. [. . .]

*Can you tell me about the Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project
<http://ibizoboi.net/2010/10/dawp-in-brooklyn-dawp-anthology> (DAWP) and
your work with it?*

*Ibi Zoboi*: Anacaona was a Taíno queen. Edwidge Danticat wrote an essay
called “We are ugly, but we are here
<http://faculty.webster.edu/corbetre/haiti/literature/danticat-ugly.htm>.”
That’s a Haitian saying. [Danticat asks] “What is the legacy of the
daughters of Anacaona, meaning the daughters of this heroine who fought for
her people for so long?” We have a legacy of warrior women. So I named [the
writing project] after that. And it was primarily aimed at Haitian and
Haitian American teen girls, but I opened it up to Caribbean girls.

[The project] first [took place] in the summer [of] 2009, and then I did it
again in 2010 in Haiti. And it was a summer-long program where there was an
exchange program between a Haitian girl and a Caribbean girl here in
Brooklyn. I did it from 2009–2014. By 2013 it evolved into to something
else—the Brooklyn Blossoms Book Club
<https://www.facebook.com/BKBlossomsBookClub/>. I wanted to move it towards
something literary and I wanted to fold the DAWP into the Brooklyn Blossoms
Book Club. I worked with Teachers & Writers Collaborative
<http://www.twc.org/>, Community Word Project
<http://communitywordproject.org/>, [and] Sadie Nash Leadership Project
<http://www.sadienash.org/>, [doing] the same type of work but within
schools. But that work was around writing and not necessarily around
reading. [That] is why I shifted the focus of the DAWP to make it more
literacy centered. I realized that there wasn’t a lot of critical reading
in the classroom, which affected how they were able to write critically. My
daughters are involved and [give a lot of] input. I wanted to make it
girl-centered.

[. . .]

*You mentioned wanting Haitian American youth to see themselves in their
books.*

*IZ:* I did a whole workshop with these teen girls in 2013, three years
after the earthquake. That was an eye-opener. I wrote down what they were
saying about themselves, and [it] was shocking. The[se] Haitian girls had
the worst to say about themselves and about Haitian people. Even if they’re
not getting it at home, they hear about their culture in the media. Their
reality is erased. There’s a certain narrative that is being perpetuated
over and over again, and even at 14 and 15, they’re still taking that in.
If they don’t have the critical skills to challenge those narratives, they
continue to consume it.

*You don’t have the time to restart this project at this very moment with
everything on your plate, but what would you share with the girls you’ll be
meeting?*

IZ: [Do] not be afraid to be critical, especially in this day and age. I
want them to build the confidence to speak up. I want them to be fearless.

For full interview, see http://www.slj.com/2017/06/teens-ya/ibi-zoboi-on-
literacy-and-her-work-with-haitian-american-teens/#_
*ivetteromero <http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/>* | July
24, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Tags: Anacaona
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/anacaona/>, Daughters of Anacaona Writing
Project
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/daughters-of-anacaona-writing-project/>,
Haiti <http://repeatingislands.com/tag/haiti/>, Haitian-American
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/haitian-american/>, Haitian-American
writers <http://repeatingislands.com/tag/haitian-american-writers/>, Ibi
Zoboi <http://repeatingislands.com/tag/ibi-zoboi/> | Categories: Caribbean
Culture <http://repeatingislands.com/category/caribbean-culture/>,
Literature <http://repeatingislands.com/category/literature/>, News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-wlw

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