HISTORY: THE GRIOT'S STORY
Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Billye (Founder of BGU) was/is a blackgirl in love with the 80’s, writing stories, and creating friendships. While her greatest influence has always been her mother, Mary Rhodes, she was inspired by Mary McLeod Bethune, Nikki Giovanni and Audre Lorde to fully realize the obligation of her gift – writing – and the need to sow it as a tool of reflexivity and agency for other blackgirls. Blackgirl Gold Unapologetic Writes of Passage curriculum was born – weaving the works of The Black Arts Movement and Hip Hop Feminism to “create a rhetoric of wreck”* for all the “grays”** in between and beyond. Moreover, understanding the importance of building strong financial institutions, in 2015 she began to sow tithes into various community initiatives such as Feed the People and LYRIC Squad. This practice of sowing "in her backyard" engendered the Blackgirl Gold Unapologetic Scholarships and Awards.
Blackgirl Gold Unapologetic (BGU) became active as an incorporated, non-profit public charity, February 16, 2018. We awarded our first scholarships, September 1, 2018.
[Quis @ The Silver Room Block Party, Chicago, 2014]
* Gwendolyn Pough (2004). Check it while I wreck it: Black womanhood, hip-hop culture, and the public sphere. Lebanon, NH: Northeastern University Press.
** Joan Morgan (1999). When chickenheads come home to roost: My life as a hip hop feminist. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.