Bad Ass of the week: Sarah Grace
This young lady of 22 works with children part time, writes for an online magazine part time AND Creates handmade Flower crowns, head dresses and accessories.
This firecracker grew up in Sacramento, CA and has been in Oakland since August of last year. Pursuing her writing ambitions straight out of high school, she held an internship with “Sac Press”. After her transition to the bay she immediately started sending out samples of her work and landed a writing gig with “Ravishly.com”. The same day she was accepted to “Ravishly.com” she was offered a position as counselor and teacher’s aide with “Parkday” private school in Oakland.
“When I got to Oakland I didn’t have a large network or big support group out here. I felt like I had to start from square one but I said, FUCK IT! I CAN DO THIS!“
Sarah describes “Parkday” as a progressive, alternative style private school with emphasis geared toward the emotional development of each child. Academic goals are pursued in a diverse, nurturing, safe environment that encourages all lifestyles and choices. Sarah is part of the A.S.A.P., “After School Activities Program” that provides care and ensures the safety of the children on campus when the parents are slaving away at the grindstone. “Parkday” also has a “Holiday Camp” for students during school vacations such as Spring break.
When Sarah isn’t educating and helping young children in Oakland find their voice, she writes for “Ravishly.com”. As a whole, this online magazine is for the “Multifaceted” type of women out there who want to read about current developments in science, politics, street culture and fun fashion and beauty reads all in one source. Sarah contributes five articles a week focused on issues concerning race, street culture and sexual harassment. On a personal note, I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with this bad ass on a couple of occasions, having met her through one of my sisters. She’s a pretty laid back Cali kind of dudette until you get her talking about things she’s passionate about…
“I have the pleasure of working with a diverse group of like-minded 3rd wave feminists who celebrate the plight and successes of the modern woman. Race and inter-racial identity can bring out the ignorance in a lot of people. A lot of the time there isn’t any bad intention behind it, people simply don’t know how to ask me what ethnicity I am. Here’s a pretty typical conversation:
-(Random stranger) “What are you?” I don’t know…a person/human being. THE FUCK KINDA QUESTION IS THAT?
– “Where do you come from?” Ummm…Sacramento?
-“Where are your parents from?” My mother is from Oakland. My father is from LA.
“Nooo, I mean like, what is your ethnic background?” Oh, I see, I’m half African American, half Jewish. *Curiosities satisfied?*
I think it can be really difficult for young people of mixed race these days. It’s incredibly frustrating when someone assumes you identify as “Black” (Which I think is a bullshit term by the way, as useless as “white”) when you may also be any number of other ethnicities. Maybe you’re half African American and half Jewish like me for example; what if I identified more with my Jewish heritage? You,*random stranger* assume I don’t. Maybe you’re Irish and people just assume you’re “white” with no roots to your country. America is a melting pot. We’re all mixed here. I know other African American women can relate to having heard they were “Too black” or “Not dark enough” again, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? As women we all struggle with sexual harassment and fight for the rights to our bodies and safety every day. To top that off, I’m supposed to fall into your idea of beauty? Or your male fetishized idea of what “Black” women should look like? I’m trying to help educate and bring awareness to these issues one article at a time.”
Links to some of her work:
An avid supporter of movements like “Stop telling women to smile” and “Slut walks” Sarah hopes to help other women find their voice and be part of the causes that can only help us move forward together, as women and sisters in life. She encourages other women to reach out a helping hand and support each other. Forget the ego, forget the bullshit, we’re all in this together. Or at least we could be.
It doesn’t stop there; Sarah also finds time (who the hell knows how) to pursue her craftier side with a friend and started a line of handmade Flower crowns, head dresses and accessories. “Indigo Soul” offers fun, summery, boho inspired styles PERFECT for all those outdoor events/concerts you have planned this summer 😉
She and her partner Kat Mahaney have two craft shows coming up in May via “RAW, natural born artists: http://rawartists.org/indigosoul
I don’t know how she does it; balancing three life ambitions while paying the rent. Driven, independent, wise beyond her years and full of passion, remember the name Sarah Grace. Someday in the not too distant future, you’ll see her on shows like “Ted Talks” and will be reading her novels. I’d bet the farm on it.