Menah Pratt Reveals The Healing Power Of Journaling In Her New Memoir, ‘Blackwildgirl’

After 45 years, the author's first journal entry is spearheading a project that will soon impact the lives of Black girls and women worldwide.

Menah Pratt Exclusive Interview

When Menah Pratt was eight, she received a beautiful, colorful 8-by-14-inch journal from her father that she still owns today. That journal houses her first journal entry, which now, over 45 years later, has spearheaded a project that will soon impact the lives of Black girls and women worldwide.

Menah Pratt
Photo by Sam Frye

The writer-artist, scholar-activist, and academic advocate recently released her memoir, Blackwildgirl: A Writer’s Journey to Take Back Her Superpower.

The author’s memoir explores the revolutionary quest of Black womanhood through raw emotion—pain and joy—to reclaim her superpower.

Created as a love letter to Black women and girls, Pratt’s autobiographical journey unfolds like a play through acts, stages, and scenes where she uses artistic creativity, deep reflection, and compelling storytelling to chronicle the transformative experiences that shaped her.

Blackwildgirl: A Writer’s Journey to Take Back Her Superpower

For instance, the author delves into her childhood, reflecting on being raised by accomplished parents, both of whom were doctors and upheld high standards. In the book, Pratt recalls when she was five years old, her parents labeled her as too “sassy” and “womanish.” 

Her father, a native Sierra Leonean, once asked her, “Who do you think you are?” 

She responded, “Queen of Sheba.” 

Her parents shunned her response. 

After that moment, the Blackwildgirl became silent. 

“I realize that the world is not ready for girls who say they are queens. They silence us. They tell us, ‘No, you can’t do that. No, you can’t be that way. Fix your attitude. Don’t do this. Don’t do that.’” Pratt exclaimed. “As women, we have to undertake initiation journeys to go find and recapture our superpower, our voice, our queenness so we can be who we need to be in the world.'”

Pratt–who is the professor of Education at Virginia Tech University and vice president for Strategic Affairs and Diversity– hopes her book will inspire readers to discover and cherish their superpower through her journals, poems, letters, and photographs.

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When Pratt read through her many journals before writing her book, she discovered multiple lessons of wisdom that resonated with her. 

“I had this amazing opportunity to review my life and look back at challenging times through my journals. It’s very much a spiritual journey,” Pratt said. “It’s rare that you can go back and trace your life and reflect.”

Reading her journals ultimately helped her discover her superpower—her voice.

“There’s a lot of pain [in my words],” she reflected. “I think a lot of Black women have a lot of pain in their life journeys, and we sort of overlook it and straighten our backs up and keep going, but we have to sit in it. We have to sit in the moments of sorrow, the moments of sadness, the moments of celebration.”

Since Pratt considers writing a core part of her identity, she chose to include a companion journal with her memoir. She hopes the bundle will help readers reclaim their Blackwildgirl spirit by reflecting on their lives, finding their superpowers, and unearthing the “goddess wisdom” hidden within them.

Blackwildgirl Book and Journal

The founder of the Faculty Women of Color in the Academy National Conference believes that women’s voices are needed worldwide now more than ever to make a positive impact on humanity. 

“We need more women warriors in the world to fiercely speak out about what we think, what we believe, what we know, and what our wisdom is as women,” Pratt admits. “I think the world would be different if more women’s voices were at decision-making tables around politics, policy, education, how the world is shaped, and how we treat the environment.”

And when we do so, our superpowers will change the world. 

Get your copy of Blackwildgirl: A Writer’s Journey to Take Back Her Superpower on Amazon today!

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Brianna Rhodes is a journalist and entrepreneur who writes about various topics, including Black culture, diversity and inclusion, race, and social justice. She has been published in Blavity, Inc., theGrio, and HubSpot. She is the founder of a freelance creative agency called Rhodes to Writing Agency LLC.