Her voice, her story. The herstory movement has origins dating back to the 1970s and has evolved into a culture that is rewriting history to include women that were erased from history and their contributions. It strives to include history from a woman’s point of view and to include the role women have played throughout history.
The overlooked or forgotten contributions of women are coming to light thanks to the release of movies such as Hidden Figures, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and Self Made. Women are receiving long-overdue credit in mainstream media; however, herstory remains a movement worthy of our attention and energy.
Now, local author, screenwriter, and filmmaker B. Danielle Watkins, and Onyx Keesha, the Atlanta based founder of M.PoWer Productions and Onyx Keesha Films, have taken the herstory concept and pushed it to a new level with the Herstory Movement; created to take the art of storytelling and give women a voice that has been taken away. The educational movement has been paired with women’s empowerment and birthed the HERJourney retreat. That, as Watkins describes it, has “drive and purpose that brings women to the forefront.”
The HERJourney Retreat was held January 8-10 in Gatlinburg, TN. The three-day event featured morning meditations, a super HERo pajama party, workshops, think tanks, a vision board breakfast, an indoor pool party, and premiere screening. Onyx Keesha said of HERJourney, “This is so much more than an event, it is so much more than a great time in the cabins,” she said. “It’s a movement, a movement to empower women to be unapologetic and claim the life of abundance they deserve.”
Watkins discussed the importance of creating the right environment to get the most out of the experience. “It is something about being away from everything and everybody,” you know that gives you a sense of freedom that allows you to explore the unknown,” she said.
“HERJourney is more than a title, much like HERStory, it is a movement; it has drive and purpose that brings women to the forefront.” If you missed the January event, the HERJourney next retreat scheduled for October 1-3, 2021should be on your bucket list.
“We have to dead the idea that women have to compete with each other,” Onyx Keesha added. “We celebrate one another, we encourage each other, and we collaborate. Of all the types of work I do, events like these truly mean so much to me.”
Watkins and Keesha are well-established creators with a history of success on the film festival circuit, including OutReels and Cinema Systers. In January of 2016, Watkins launched production company Dream N 1 Productions, LLC. Onyx Keesha Films is a queer film company focused on untold stories with several film festival wins and over a million views on YouTube.
The power of the Herstory movement lies in the ability of women to write their own stories. Watkins and Keesha are living proof that the contributions of women to the world cannot be ignored. By focusing on HERjourney, they remind us that women have always been impactful. But now, it is documented and celebrated.