Maryam Azeeza Muhammad is a 19-year-old journalism student and poet attending Temple University in Philadelphia. She is the author of the book Bantu Knots and Butterflies: A Written Reflection, a collection of poems in which Muhammad explores spirituality, self-determination and femininity.
Rolling out sat down with Muhammad to discuss her new book and women’s empowerment.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book because of my rebellious spirit. I don’t like people trying to define me without my permission, or putting labels on me unless I’ve already picked them out for myself. I wanted to define who I was with this book; what labels I claim.
What do you want readers to learn from the book?
I hope that readers take away three ideas: that growth is not always linear, that one’s truth is uniquely their own, and that one’s freedom is their own responsibility.
Muhammad gives advice to the next generation of Black women writers on the next page.