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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 21, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 29
IN MEMORIAM - Doris L. Harris
Section One
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IN MEMORIAM - Doris L. Harris

Generous recipe of a woman

by Dorinda Henry - Special to the SGN

Doris L. Harris, Author, Poet, Playwright, and Activist, passed away peacefully on July 1, 2017. In her passing, her family in Pittsburgh, PA lost a loved one. Seattle lost one of its African American LGBT Pioneers. The artist community lost one of its best. Many lost a dear friend, and two beautiful young boys lost the best thing that could have ever happened to them. To all of you, I am terribly sorry for your loss, and I send to you my deepest and most sincere condolences.

Doris L. Harris was a woman of many talents. More than anything, Doris was a writer. Her work has graced the pages of numerous publications. She was a conveyor of life and love - life as a black woman in America, life as a child of a heroin addict - life as a woman and lover of women, of love gained and of love lost. She inspired and encouraged countless women to write. Among her many accomplishments, she was a recipient of the Nikki Giovanni Poetry Award, the Astraea Foundation Writer's Fund Award & Grant and the Playwright Award from the National Black Arts Festival. From the Astraea Foundation Award, came her chapbook of poetry entitled Refreshments. The National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA highlighted her play The Satin Sisters with a public reading. As Co-Founder of BackBone Productions, Seattle was introduced to Author Sharon Bridgeforth, Essence Magazine editor Linda Villarosa, and Seattle's first Black Gay Pride Celebration, numerous Butch/Femme Balls and a Seattle production of The Satin Sisters. When the Lesbian Resource Center/Women's Resource Center contemplated closing its doors, Doris L. Harris stepped the leadership of that organization. She had a profound sense of dignity, justice and legacy. She knew, the importance, the impact and the social, cultural, political and historical significance of such an organization for women, same-and-both-gender loving women, and particularly, women of color. Before she passed away, Doris L. Harris was still writing and her poetry remains sought after.

I have tried to tell you about Doris L. Harris, the Author, the Poet, the Playwright, the woman. Now, let me tell you about the depth and breadth of the loss of my Friend. Doris had the heart of a female lion protecting her cubs. She was unrelenting when it came to matters of the heart. Her tongue was quick and her Mother's Wit was unparalleled. She was not just my friend, she was also once my lover, she was my biggest cheerleader and harshest critic. She was at times my mother, my advisor, my confidante, and my editor. For nearly 30 years, she graciously poured herself out to me, and others, demonstrating in tangible ways, what it means to be a 'Generous Recipe of a Woman.' Goodnight Doris, we'll see you on the other side of midnight.

FULL COURSE MEAL

I am a generous recipe of a woman
created long before calories counted
Im a 2 cups of brown sugar
stirred slowly
bring to a fast boil,
kind of woman
rich,
thick,
tasty,
full of mouthwatering sin,
the kind of woman that stays on your mind
from the beginning, and until the end

I am a generous recipe of a woman,
created with lots of butter
eggs, the sweetest cream
whipped silky smooth,
when I laugh out comes the sun
and the moon,
And when I sigh,
as I see you reaching for your plate,
knowing we will satiate todays hunger,
and tomorrows needs,

Keep in mind,
theres so much more of me,
I am
a generous
recipe
of a woman

┬ęDoris L. Harris

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