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  • Monique Franz

Sistas of the Diaspora

Sistas of the Diaspora

by Monique Franz

Today begins my Mount Everest climb to become a published novelist after three grueling years of drafting and redrafting my debut novel.

Along the way, I’ve had tremendous support from sistas of the African diaspora (along with friends of Hong Kong) whose interviews helped me develop a fiction work packed with truth. Much like crafting a quilt, I strategically stitched some stories and challenges we, as Black expat women, faced into fresh characters and thought-provoking drama. The actual story began in 2012 when four or five of us ladies became Sistas in Hong Kong. We eventually grew to become a community of 600, recognized by the American consulate in the city and named several times in the local media for our participation in arts, entertainment, and charitable work.

In 2015, IAFT filmed a short documentary discussing the inception of our group and captured a glimpse into our existence as Black women in the Chinese city. The video features Mallori Steele, an American Hip Hop instructor in the Tung Chung Community at the time; Ntando Khubisa, a lead performer in Hong Kong Disney’s production of The Lion King, along with featured clips from the Nigerian-British comedienne, Gina Yashere (whose last name I couldn’t remember in the documentary).


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