Cheryl's Open Road
The Watermelon Woman
Who you are and how you live your life does matter. That’s the only thing that’s going to stay with you through this journey.
- She was born in Liberia to an African father and an African-American mother; calls herself an “African-African-American.”
- Because she felt like an outsider even within her own “diaspora,” she had to carve out her own space in the world.
- She went to Michigan State University to play rugby, but when she got there, she felt lost.
- To try to find her path, she started taking classes in everything from filmmaking to African-American studies to yoga.
- Filmmaking became a way for her to find and express who she was, and to communicate her unique self to the world.
- Says that her early work documented the life that she lived, which—as an African-American lesbian—was also a life that she didn’t often see portrayed in the media.
- Her first film, The Watermelon Woman, is considered the first film that was written by, directed by, and about black lesbians.
- Says there’s no reason not to pursue a passion and take an adventure because “you can always go back.”