(By Three O'Clock Press; originally published at threeoclockpress.com)

Victoria B. Robinson is an Afro-German activist, author, and mentor currently based in the U.S. Victoria shared with us how difficult the reflection process was in writing her contribution to Letters Lived: Radical reflections, revolutionary paths:

“I expected the text to be really easy to write, something funny and positive, something empowering for young women, a way to share some of the lessons learned. It was not easy at all. I extended the deadline twice. I thought about giving up. Then I came across this Rumi quote that was a perfect intro to it: ‘Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.’
I started again.”

Robinson’s writing often deals with her experiences of discrimination and exclusion in Germany. In Letters Lived, Robinson discusses the notion of personal growth as a lifelong process, something that she dealt with growing up in Germany, where she never really felt at home. This idea of continual change also extends to her career choices—having tried out everything from TV producer, fitness instructor, and event planner, Robinson knows it’s OK to question what you want to do, no matter what age.

Robinson’s work has been published in numerous books, anthologies, magazines, and performed on stage. She is part of the touring exhibition “Homestory Deutschland: Black Biographies in History and the Present,” which has been making the rounds in Europe and the African continent since 2006. The exhibition reflects the diversity of contemporary Germany, where one-fifth of the population is an ethnic minority. The exhibition sheds light on the histories of Africans, African-Americans, and Afro-Germans from the past 300 years of German history to reveal a varied and complex portrait of the country.

Robinson believes strongly in the healing ability of art and the importance of having that representation visiible within ones community. Robinson has spearheaded Black women initiatives including the Black European Women’s Council and ISD SiSTARS. She is also a founding member of Oakland Ink, a writing collective for people of colour that aims to help empower writers in safe, creative spaces and develop literary projects.

You can follow Victoria B. Robinson on twitter to stay on top of all her upcoming projects.

Letters Lived Launch Party is tonight! Centre for Social Innovation Annex, 720 Bathurst St. (South of Bloor) 7pm-10pm  We've got a great event planned, including: 

  • Contributors to the collection sharing their letters!
  • Youth sharing letters they have written to their future selves!
  • Tunes!
  • A letter-writing station where you can share your own radical reflections/revolutionary paths!

  Accessibility info: 

  • The CSI Annex space is accessible for mobility devices.
  • All of the restrooms are gender-neutral, single stall washrooms, including the mobility-device accessible washroom. 
  • Though CSI Annex does not have a fragrance-free policy in place during their normal hours of operation, we ask that all of our guests come to this event scent-free. There will be a designated fragrance-free seating area within the event.
  • ASL interpretation will be provided.
  • Though childcare will not be provided, this is a family-friendly event and space, and people of all ages are welcome.

*Please contact publicity@threeoclockpress.com in advance of the launch with any accessibility-related questions or concerns. RSVP to the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/547610241974332/

AuthorSheila Sampath