“i am an African woman

and in the privacy

of the private chambers

of my mind

in the intimacy

of the intimate corridors

of my soul

when the doors to western civilization are shut

i open the doors

to myself

and i am an African women.”

                          - Mama Nayo


In the People’s Hands (IPH) is a labor of love that began in the late 1980s/early 1990s when a small collaborative of arts activists and cultural workers came together to “kitchen table” publish a community ‘zine for, by, and about the Durham community.  Jereann King, one of founding editors, revealed that during this time the group felt it was important to not only speak the word empowerment, but also practice it by activating the power and voices of the community.  King said, "It was a need, so we just did it".  The founding editors collaboratively published three or four issues of the 'zine.  Check back soon for online pdf versions of the early issues of In The People's Hands in the archive section.

In more recent years, Phillip Shabazz, Mama Nia, Bettys' Daughter Arts Collaborative, and the SpiritHouse family have re-ignited this ‘zine with the blessing of its founders.  SpiritHouse Inc. is a Durham North Carolina based community organizing collective, using arts education programming to provide tools for local residents to accomplish this work. Everyday, we, and our partners, work in communities of low-income households, high-poverty, inner-city neighborhoods, to bring about meaningful and positive change through innovative projects that involve people at all levels of life. We provide programs and services that work, from the bottom up, to get the local residents involved to create and develop new and cooperative ways for communities to determine a better future.

We honor everyone who has in some way touched this ‘zine, your hard work, vision, and persistence sparked a practice for creating radical media.  The founders flame still warms the hearts and hands of the editors, organizers, and collaborators that made the Africana Women and Violence issue of In the People’s Hands a success.  

This issue pays homage to those trailblazers who dedicated energy, expertise, creative works, and organizing skills to this project.

Walter Norfleet - deceased

Nayo Watkins- deceased

Sheila Kingsbury Burt

Thomas I. McDonald

Jereann King

Pearl Shelby

We also pay homage to the new crew who keep the vision and legacy of community publishing thriving today.   

What is In the People’s Hands?

IPH is a radical media process that highlights, affirms and creates a space for the voices of marginalized communities to flourish.  The process is based on the premise that communities can re-imagine narratives that dominate mainstream media sources.  IPH seeks to create a radical praxis of inventing media that encourages and prepares individuals to be proactive in documenting the intimate and shared experiences of the community.    

IPH shares and explores the creation of equitable media sources.  As IPH creates spaces for artistic production, activist thought, and community action, we shift our individual and collective destiny.

There are many ways to get involved with a IPH.  Become a volunteer editor or designer for the ’zine, help to organize the writing intensive, design or edit the web site, or join our multimedia initiative. 

Email ebonygolden@bettysdaughtearts.com to express interest and to get involved.  We encourage you to get involved with one of our initiatives today!

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