Women Who Project is a new interview series highlighting women of color we admire and who inspire us in art and design. Interviews are conducted by guest author, educator, and artist Tanekeya Word.
Stevona Elem-Rogers belongs to the tribe Women Who Run with the Wolves, and has since she was a teenage girl living in Cleveland, Ohio. Her self awareness of identity and womanhood drew us together, fourteen years ago, as it was not hard for me to notice a fellow tribe member in a room full of many. She had a penchant for being misunderstood, it comes with the territory of being a tribe member that many are intimidated by the power of agency manifesting itself through a woman’s mind and body. Stevona has continued to meet the misunderstandings of Black womanhood with critical intention and Black joy that sprouts from her wide smile into a boisterous laugh—she understands that self care in the face of daily attacks and threats to the Black body is also revolutionary, and that it takes a Grown Up to respect that.
Who is Stevona Elem Rogers?
I’m a sweet faced brown woman, with an Alabama toothy smile and magical nappy hair that brings me great joy and freedom. I also have a full-bodied laugh that ID’s me everywhere I go. Every day I hear, “I knew that was you girl, I heard you laughing!” Those bomb attributes and many more were created from the love shared between a masterful Black grocer and a gorgeous former Black Panther. As their daughter they instilled in me the glorification of Black people and our culture. For the first ten years of my life I only read books authored by Black writers and I owe my existence as a creative to that labor of love. For the last decade, I’ve spent my days living in New Orleans, Louisiana “taking over for the 99 and the 2000” as a womanist writer, educator and orator. I currently share my musings at Stevona.com including a campaign called, “Black Women Are For Grown Ups” which audaciously celebrates Black womanhood. Everything I do, say or write is for us. Read more…