Elevating and Celebrating Black Girl Herstory – A Revolutionary Summer

By Cori Lucas,

This woman-led organization works intensively to change the lives and narratives of Black girls in a single summer. A Revolutionary Summer is a women-led organization that is unapologetic and unfiltered in their mission to bring forth the beauty, intelligence and light that exists in all Black women and girls. They accomplished this over the course of eight Sundays through the summer via the rigorous study of Black women artists and authors; books that reflect these young women back to themselves when they open them. The girls—affectionately referred to as Daughters—are then tasked with creating their own creative, thought-provoking works that encapsulate their story and their soul. “A Revolutionary Summer validates Black girl language and Black girl thought, Black girl hair and Black girl thighs. It traces, analyzes, justifies, and celebrates Black girl herstory.” Upon acceptance, each Daughter is given a personal library and a Netflix subscription. To end every session, all the girls engage in yoga to instill principles of mindfulness and self-care.


Following the abhorrent Freddie Gray murder in 2015, A Revolutionary Summer was co-founded by Andria Cole and Malene Bell. Andria, from the time she was in high school, has delved into the works of nearly two dozen Black authors. With each book she read, the author gave her something—whether it was a powerful literary tool or the power of knowledge of self. Andria knows intimately the power of a book (both reading and writing them) and carries that fiercely with her to A Revolutionary Summer to empower and edify her Daughters.


If A Revolutionary Summer we’re provided all the funding it needed, Andria passionately declares, “At the core, [a Revolutionary Summer] would be the same because so much of what we do is not about financial resources, but rather how we treat one another—and working to grow each other spiritually.” On the outside, A Revolutionary Summer would establish programs across Baltimore City, then across the country, to give more Black girls access to their training and sponsorship. “It would look like libraries and brick-and-mortar spaces. It would look like less stress during grant writing season…It would be more peace.” 


A Revolutionary Summer’s panel of powerful and endearing woman educators and writers includes legal consultant, tutor, and youth advocate Andrea Better; teacher, writer, and Diasporic advocate Nichelle Calhoun; and poet, teacher and advocate for anyone in need Shamoyia Gardiner. Baltimore City’s future generation of Black women are coming to A Revolutionary Summer and leaving with an expanded vocabulary, advanced critical-thinking and mindfulness skills, the tools to gracefully share their own stories, and pride that glows through the hardships and glories of being a Black woman. To learn more about A Revolutionary Summer’s program or sponsor a Daughter, visit cllctivly.org/listing/a-revolutionary-summer or follow them @arevolutionarysummer. 

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All February, we’re honoring a few of the many Black leaders in our community making history every day with #28DaysofBlackFutures.

This is a crowdfunding and narrative power campaign that amplifies and mobilizes resources for Black-led organizations serving Greater Baltimore.


Throughout the month, we will highlight 28 dedicated Black leaders and organizations on the ground creating programs and initiatives that drive health, wealth, safety, and culture in #Baltimore.


Let’s CELEBRATE these changemakers and SUPPORT their work! Our goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of this campaign.

Head over to 28DaysofBlackfutures.org to donate today! ❤️🖤💚


Let’s show up BIG for our Black leaders and their organizations!


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