Tag Archives: Terrikia Benjamin

Lit Happenings Antigua and Barbuda Nov 1 – 8 2010

Lots of literary happenings in Antigua between November 1st and 8th. Here are a few links to keep you in the loop:

  • Headliner Pam Grier was MIA after being heavily promoted for an Antigua and Barbuda International Lit Fest fundraiser. But the show did go on and the weekend had its ups and downs. Read about it all here. Had a great time with the children’s tent at the Festival village, btw. Will post pics as soon as I have them.
  • The Friends of Antigua Public Library (NY) presented the winners (including Wadadli Pen alum Terrikia Benjamin) of its annual short story and visual arts competition with their prizes on Youth Day of the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival. Find out more. Keep an eye on the Antigua Stories page for the posting of the winning stories.
  • Antiguan author Floree Williams launched her second book Through the Window and it went amazingly well. Here’s a link to the coverage.  I also today received a copy of first time author Tameka Jarvis-George’s Unexpected and I’m looking forward to reading it; will keep you posted of the local launch of this other author’s literary strides.
  • The Independence Literary Arts Committee did it again; attracted some 50 entries to this year’s ‘Wake them let them rise and shine’ themed seasonal writing competition. Wadadli Pen alums Shakeema Edwards and Hilesha Humphreys were among those in the winners circle. Here are the details.
  • Young Antiguan, Deshawn Browne, with backing from Antiguan filmmaker Dr. Noel Howell, launched his first book at only 11 years old. A film is set to follow by next summer.
  • This one is a bit before November 1st, but we have to mention it: Dorbrene O’Marde collects his well-deserved honour from the Sunshine Awards.

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Happy to be Black by Terrikia Benjamin

Terrikia accepts her prize package from the Museum's Michelle Henry

[winner under 12 age category 2010]

Nebula yawned and opened her eyes to the white walls of her lavishly decorated bedroom. She reluctantly pulled herself away from her comfortable, white, blanket and stepped into the cold, Saturday, February morning. Nebula quickly took a bath and brushed her teeth. When she was finished, she stared with disgust at her dark face in the mirror. “Why can’t I be pretty like my white friends?” she thought as she hurried downstairs.

As she entered the room, her father greeted her, “Good morning my beautiful daughter.” Nebula frowned and mumbled, “yeah right.” She sat down and savoured the sugary cereal. Her dad got up and gave her the newspaper. “Read page 13, it will interest you,” he said as he hurried out into the chilly weather.

Nebula flipped to page 13 in the newspaper and saw an advertisement for   the ‘Black and Beautiful’ teenage pageant. “This is not for me. I am not beautiful,” she muttered. “Don’t say that, you are a pretty young lady,” her mother shouted. Nebula screamed, “How can I enter that competition when I look like a black…”, “Ring, ring,” the phone interrupted.

“Answer the phone then read the book from the shelf called ‘My Black Heritage’,” said her mother as she walked into the kitchen.

“Hello,” Nebula answered the telephone. “Hi this is Chelsea. Did you hear about the ‘Black and Beautiful’ pageant?” Chelsea said. “I heard about it,” answered Nebula. “Well I’m going to enter and win. If you decide to enter you’ll need lots of practice and bleaching cream,” Chelsea said as she hung up the telephone.

Two hours later Nebula sat on a black leather sofa and read ‘My Black Heritage.’ She read about the essence of beauty. She read about her black African roots, Rosa Parks and Barack and Michelle Obama. “Wow!” she said to herself as the last words of the novel “beauty is inside of you” repeated themselves in her mind like the beat of an African drum. “Yes I can!” Nebula shouted as a beam of sunlight beamed through the blue curtain and saturated the room.

“Mom!” Nebula shouted as she ran to find her mother. “Yes Neb, what’s wrong?” her mother anxiously asked. “Thanks for the book mom. I learnt so much about my black identity and beauty. I want to enter the beauty contest,” she rambled. “I am so happy and proud of you,” her mother said. “My talent for the pageant will be a dance to the song ‘I am beautiful’.” “How do you know that you are black and beautiful,” asked her mother. Nebula stood confidently with a winning smile on her smooth black velvet face and answered, “I know that I am black and beautiful because I am a confident black girl who is proud of my African heritage and identity”. “You will win the pageant” shouted her mother. “Even if I don’t win, I am happy to be black and beautiful,” Nebula whispered as she hugged her mother.



Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse – coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, and author of The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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