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Welcome back to another episode of Race, Culture & Beyond, A Naked Conversation Podcast! In today’s episode, we have an exceptional guest with us who will share with us all about her journey towards becoming a poet and how her writing has a special connection with religion, childhood, trauma, and racism.
Dr. Rochelle Robinson-Dukes is a professor at the city college of Chicago, where she teaches literature and English composition. She has been published in African American Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Poetry Hall, The Raven’s Perch, among many others. In addition, she’s the editor of Brownstone Barrio Bards, a journal celebrating its twentieth edition this year (you can find the link to the journal on Lulu, Amazon, and Apple Books).
Dr. Rochelle Robinson-Dukes began writing when she was only 8 years old. She started writing because she felt it was the best way to express her emotions, given that she comes from an era of “children should be seen and not heard.” She was also raised in a religious background that did not allow her to express her thoughts transparently. As a result, Rochelle put off writing for a couple of years, and the year of the pandemic gave her back that space to write about all of the bottled-up feelings she had.
Dr. Robinson-Dukes also speaks about how she never felt she couldn’t do anything. She accomplished everything she set her mind to and raised her son based on those beliefs. Rochelle gives those examples to her children: to never accept judgment, categories, or labels. And to instead look up to the leaders we have or have had.
We cover many topics including storytelling in Black culture, religion, abandonment issues, racism, family history and trauma, and self-awareness.
Thank you for listening to the show. It is such an honor to have these conversations with you. They are necessary and needed, and we are here to do the work.
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