Stevona Elem-Rogers met herself walking the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. She knew she was herself because she had her same Alabama toothy smile. Still a sweet faced, brown girl with majik in her kinks. She immediately struck up a conversation with herself, ‘cuz all Black geniuses got talking to self in common. 

“Stevie Elem” (she oft called herself by her brother’s nickname and her maternal surname), “Stevie Elem how did you get so far away from Titusville, guh?”

“Ahhh. I’m in Titusville right now, sis.”

“Oh…” She said bewildered.“Where else you be at?”

“I’m in Titusville, in search of my mother’s garden, I’m at the University of Alabama studying English and African American Studies, I’m night swimming with god in the saltiest waters of Jumeirah, I’m organizing folks on Bayou Road to teach our Black babies, I’m healing with a young sangoma in Johannesburg, I’m writing a self-love manuscript from a moonlit carriage house, I’m dancing the afro blues away in Havana, I’m enjoying afternoon tea at Brooklyn’s Akwaaba,I’m under El Yunque waterfall scraping my dark, southern knees.

“Well aren’t you busy as a Betsy bug?” Stevona found herself captivated.

“Yes we are ma’am! If only our lovers understood.” Stevona smiled and sauntered off, because she had spaces to tend to, and so did the other Stevona.

There are so many Stevona’s. She’s had more lives than feline’s and time. She is a radical and well-thought-out, antiquated and unconventional, the life of the party and a loner, a practitioner and a scholar, straightforward and empathetic. She has survived off of wild spirited stories of Black womanhood and believes this essential to not only her own liberation, but all Black women.

Her calling is to connect millions through multifaceted personal narratives, so the world may ever understand, #BlackWomenAreForGrownUps

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Photography: TwoMacks