'Letters from a Transient' Takes a Haunting Look at Black Women's Struggles

The struggles Black women face affect us in ways that go beyond the personal. Author, filmmaker and spoken word artist Astin Rocks. explores these themes of Black womanhood in a haunting piece entitled Letters from a Transient. In the short film, she includes four poems over the narrative: "naked," "message to bad boys," "t.h.o.t." and "shark week." She says of the work:

"Transient: a temporary guest, or laborer working for a short period of time; vagabond,wanderer.
"I began writing Letters from a Transient while living in Beijing, when I first recognized travel as my means of self-escape. My realization of my inability to stay in one place sparked my transition into early adulthood, at which point, I decided to outwardly express my haunting thoughts.

"Letters from a Transient comprises of four Spoken Word poems. Each poem lyrically addresses a different struggle, specifically self-love, dating patterns, womanhood, and media sensationalism. The corresponding visuals within the piece each symbolize perceptions of my experience with each struggle. With Letters from a Transient, I aim to encourage young adults in transition to face their insecurities, even if it means questioning the norms that have molded their self-worth and character."

It should be noted that the piece is not safe for work and comes with a trigger warning. There is brief nudity in the beginning and the visuals for "shark week" include images of the Mike Brown killing and the Ferguson protests.

Astin Rocks. is a writer, multimedia and performance artist living in Jackson, MS. You can view her work, stream her poetry, and follow her journey at www.whyastinrocks.com. Watch the short below.


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