Phoebe Robinson Honored by Girls Write Now
BY OLIVIA ARMSTRONG
On October 11, for national “Day of the Girl,” the Diane Von Furstenberg headquarters in New York was turned into a buzzing haven for creative women of all ages and background. Girls Write Now (GWN), the city’s “first and only writing and mentoring organization for girls” was celebrating 20 years of helping young females channel their inner screenwriters, novelists, journalists and poets.
Emceed by Teen Vogue Executive Editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay and her mentee, Joli-Amour Dubose Morris, the annual ceremony mixed storytelling, activism and commendation. This year’s GWN honorees were Phoebe Robinson of hit podcast turned HBO comedy special 2 Dope Queens, and Tomi Adeyemi, author of bestselling Children of Blood and Bone. “To be born into this world as a girl, is to be born into a war,” said Adeyemi. “We may enter this world into war, but it’s this war that turns us into warriors.”
The notion of a gender revolution was also echoed by guest speaker Amy Berkower, an agent at Writer’s House, who spoke of the importance of female voters and voices. “We still have not passed the Equal Rights Amendment,” she reminded the crowd. The amendment, which first gained traction after the Women’s Suffrage movement of the 1920s, would constitutionally require employers to pay women as much as their male counterparts. Berkower also touched upon #MeToo and the conversation surrounding newly appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. “As the events of the last few days have pointed out,” said Berkower, “we really need women’s stories.”
GWN mentee Morris then introduced Robinson, who, in addition to co-creating and hosting 2 Dope Queens, penned the memoir You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain and the upcoming collection of essays, Everything’s Trash, But It’s OK. “Phoebe writes her truth so we can be comfortable with ours,” said Morris.
Robinson shared why acting as her “own North star” gave her the career she always wanted. “I’ve been a writer my whole life and I used to be so concerned about who was going to ‘get’ [my writing],” she explained. “I began to wonder what would it sound like if I tried to sound like me.”
“I wanted to write a book forever and I didn’t get the courage until I was 30, which is so silly,” Robinson concluded. “Now, I’m like, I’m never going to hold myself back.”