The show, presented by BGS Productions, Inc., began its legacy in 2005 by founder and playwright, Talitha V. Anyabwele, as a way to empower and deliver positive impactful messages to the masses. The show utilizes a monologue styled, educational, poetic approach to captivate audiences on a journey through one woman's mind, emotions, and total being.
Not to be confused with "Black Girls Rock," Anyabwele started "Black Girl Speaks" during her time in college in Tallahassee, Fla., where the first show was presented in an intimate setting at Amen-Ra's Bookshop and Gallery. The reception for this sensitive show that captures attention and captivates minds quickly expanded into a movement that now includes a lecture series, workshops, and is currently in the works to find itself on television and possibly in the theatrical setting.
"When I did the first show in November of 2005, I was doing it for myself," said Anyabwele. "It was my way of ridding myself of insecurities, telling my insecurities that they had no ownership over my life, telling my story so I could no longer be ashamed of it, and putting it out there for me. It was completely selfish at first. But I realized the impact of the show when people came up to me afterwards and stated, 'That piece was exactly my story ... when you said these words they changed my life.'"
Anyabwele's shows tend to touch people's souls.
"One of the most incredible things I've ever been told is that a piece (I performed) actually saved someone's life. That person was at a point of considering suicide and something in my show actually changed their mind," said Anyabwele. "So when I realized that the show was doing more for others than it was necessarily doing for me, I knew this was a movement that had no choice but to move forward."
Minneapolis will be the first stop of the show's 2012 fall run. Though the show is "Black Girl Speaks," audiences tend to be diverse with varying ethnicities and both men and women supporting the performances.
"I am proud to say that I have a following of strong Black men who support 'Black Girl Speaks' confidently and wholeheartedly. Their initial thoughts – just hearing the title and not seeing anything – is that it's a male bashing piece. Truth is, we can't uplift a community by bashing our men. We simply cannot," said Anyabwele. "Now I do tell the truth, because men mess up just like we mess up, but I'm very careful not to criticize our men because we absolutely need them. The show is nothing but positivity, love and uplifting in a way for women as well as men. (Men) need that too. Any man will tell you the most confusing thing is a woman, so if they want insight into womanhood they should definitely come see this show."
Anyabwele hopes through her works that she has created a medium to openly reflect and openly discuss women's issues, love and the African-American journey.
For more information, or to buy tickets to see "Black Girl Speaks" visit www.BlackGirlSpeaks.com or www.thecapritheater.org/event/black-girl-speaks/