my name is daje
Daje Morris is an artist and advocate based in Knoxville, TN. By day, she operates as the founder and creative director of Founding Space, helping creators speak wildly specific truths to their audiences. By night, she is a songwriter and published poet who takes joy in exposing beauty in all of its messy and inarticulate forms. Her design, photography, and marketing work can be found at www.founding.space.
Those three weeks prior to leaving, I couldn’t tell if it was bravery or stupidity that had led my choices. Perhaps, it had been both. I had never had such an experience before—I, the girl who wanted to be a writer. I, who secretly ached for the mountains. I, who had dreams of being in other countries facilitating workshops, telling stories, and making art. I, who didn’t know that my dreams could
Wholeness is the best kind of revolution and healing is the most devastating kind of protest. For too long, we have been ducking and wading through a system that did not want us, neither whole or healed. Black women have been sweat shop queens, the hard shelters, the greenhouses, the panted after, and the unwanted.
How can we do this well when we all have a tireless alarm buzzing in our pockets? It is always notifying us of things we don’t need to know and calls we don’t need to answer (spammy spammers). How can we “be” when inboxes become overwhelming? When every single day someone wants something? How can we rest when the world is literally wired from the sky to the grave with a current that is the secret to making our whole lives work?
Thinking less of yourself will not make you a better person. Self-diminishment does not make you more or less worthy of affection or love or economic resources. The truth is that your human worth is indefinable, non-negotiable, and limitless. You deserve to have access to good and healthy things that encourage your innate joy--just because you exist. Don't let the naysayers tell you otherwise.
One of the most valuable lessons I’m learning as a young entrepreneur and artist is that though my capacity may be high, I have to honor my limits. This means that I cannot flinch when I share my prices. I cannot undercharge. I cannot compromise to get “the client”.
Not long ago, I go to sit down with Erin from 2 Elephants in the Room to discuss process. We talked about how I completely fell apart in 2015, the extra-marital assualt that catalyzed my young divorce, and how writing allowed me the massive permission I needed to heal and breathe. You can listen to the episode below.
This list is part black-women-who-get-it and part stark resource for searching black lady souls. Resources that help us calculate our grief and separation from White Christianity are very slim. I invite you to peruse the following books that have been very helpful for me in my process.
There is always a possibility that something won’t work. Yet, there’s some beauty in taking a risk to find out. Perhaps that risk will lead to another ending, but it