Katy Brainerd, a Washington University student, interacts with Story Stitchers

Katy Brainerd, leader of the Washington University’s Storytelling SLAM student group, led a writing workshop for youth Saturday at the Stitchers Storefront Studio. Youth are creating and refining pieces that may be presented by Story Stitchers on stage or in publications.

Jasmine, a high school student, wrote this poem.


The Black Woman


I love these words.

Whenever I hear these words,

I hear the cries of past goddesses that have passed down their crowns

to the generation you see today.

The way her hips move to an internal, tribal drum.

Full lips that will the ripest plum

Wither and die.

Hair that kinks and curls into a crown that sits proudly on her head.

Skin that can thrive in the sun,

and is a reminder of how proud she should be to be a black girl.

A black woman

A black Queen

A Black Goddess

The Black woman

I also hear the cries of black women being disrespected daily.

The loud Black woman.

The mad black woman.

The ghetto black woman.

Not the smart black woman.

Not an inventor, the black woman.

Constantly ripped off and humiliated.

JERRY Springer


Kim K

Kylie Jenner

Even by our own black brothers and sisters.

Being a black woman is like being put behind two veils.

Being a



Sexism and racism.

My sisters and I are more than just our physical shells.

I’m not just talking about my sisters of which melanin binds us.

I’m talking about my sisters of the world,

who give life, food, and love to the future of mother Earth.

We hold so much knowledge,

So much love,

So much strength.

A body that can give endless life,

A heart that gives endless love.


To support programs like this, please join the Story Stitchers annual Bowl A Thon by volunteering (call 314-899-9001) or by making a donation at storystitchers.org