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Writer. Educator. Artist Convener.
Zenique Gardner Perry writes stories about family, race, faith and all its intersections. Sometimes, her work pushes a social justice agenda. While a Midwestern native, Zenique eventually moved to Philadelphia where she ultimately received an English Writing degree from Eastern University and spent a semester abroad in East Africa. In 2013, Zenique was the sole American writer selected as a Farafina Fellow by renown Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie. There, Zenique joined writers across the Diaspora in a two-week residency in Lagos, Nigeria.
In 2015, Zenique moved back to St. Louis after living in Philadelphia for over a decade. She has since co-founded Undo Bias, a consulting group that accompanies organizations in their antiracism efforts. In her work, Zenique incorporates writing as a way to address racism. A graduate of the MFA Creative Nonfiction Program at Washington University in St. Louis, Zenique has also received awards and support for her writing from The Delacorte Review, The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow in Arkansas, Storyknife Women Writers’ Retreat in Alaska, and The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. She is currently working on a collection of essays that explore the iconography of white Jesus. Zenique lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband, niece and nephew.
What They Call Us is Magic
We were kids who wore talking shoes and too small clothes, spending paper dollars from the feds on hot pickles and penny candy at the corner liquor store. Kwintessa and LaCreshia, Tameka, Shaunta, Tanisha, and Miesha were the names my friends were given. The boys who chased us were Lamont and Tyrone, Demetrius and Malik, DaQuan, Jamal and Javion. It was the nineties. And a post-industrial, Black, Midwestern town was home. Here, everything about what we called ourselves and each other felt right.
Homie, You Can Do It Too
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