Olive Demetrius and Hanifah Walidah are some righteous sistas—let’s get that established from the get go. Reppin’ Brooklyn, this duo is responsible for bringing you U People, the first of its kind film to depict women of color across sexualities and gender expression. One house, two days, thirty women and trans folks of color bridged their differences in the creation of this video. Described as an accidental documentary, U People introduces a strong, candid and very human voice into the discussion of gay and straight relations and the diversity within the minority.
While Olive is new to my circle, Hanifah has been around and is a well known hip-hop artist, playwright, actor, music video maker, and filmmaker. In the early 90s she was co-founder of two poet performance collectives, The Vibe Khamelons and The Boom Poetic, both recognized as groundbreaking for fusing a hip-hop approach to traditional beatnik rhythm. In 2002, she wrote and performed her one-woman show Straight Black Folks Guide to Black Folks. In 2006, she was the musical director of What It Iz, a hip hop/spoken word adaptation of the Wiz. And let’s not forget her work with the Brooklyn Funk Essentials.
Whether exploring their favorite Brooklyn haunts, discussing black lesbian astrology and the magic of hand-blended teas or interviewing ground-breaking performance and visual artists from around the globe, Olive and Hanifah generously share their world with fierce passion, humor and love and for that, they are two Lesbians I Love.
More About Olive and Hanifah
Twenty-Something and Thirty-Something
Single, Dating, or Married:
If it were legal in NY, we would be.
Children? Yes, No, In the Future:
In the future.
Filmmakers/Musician/Part-time Driving Ourselves Insane
Describe yourselves in one word:
What’s your favorite color?
Hanifah: The Pinks of Sunset
Olive: Today my favorite is brown, but tomorrow it could be something else.
What’s your favorite food?
Hanifah: Lamb chops (the way my mother makes them) and vegetarian beans with syrup in them.
Olive: Ackee and Saltfish with provisions.
Do you prefer fem or butch women and why?
Olive: I like women, the rest is just packaging.
Hanifah: Femme, but one that makes an art out of walking (in heels)
Favorite body part and why?
Hanifah: Hips and ass (though I have neither).
As Black a woman do you prefer natural or processed hair and why?
Olive: Natural. Processed hair smells like Brimstone for the first week at least.
What in your opinion are the biggest issues facing Black lesbians and our solutions if any?
Olive: Safety within and outside of our communities.
Hanifah: Media exposure and power within media. One the solution for the other. If we put our image as we see it out there more then we will cease to be a vulnerable other.
McCain, Obama, or Clinton and why?
Who’s in your iPod/CD Player?
Olive: Liz Wright, Kanye West, Gnarles BArkle, Toshi Reagon and Joi.
Hanifah: The latest September mix by DJ La Femme off of the U People Download Music Mx Card.
What’s your favorite quote?
Olive: “Ya better write that down and put it under a rock, because if you don’t they’ll say the rock never existed and that you never existed” – Susan Lori Parks in Death of the Last Black Man inthe Entire World.
Hanifah: “I don’t want nobody to get me nothin’. Open up the door, I’ll get it myself.” – James Brown.
Who’s your favorite author and why?
Both: Octavia Butler
Olive: Because of the “XenoGenesis Trilogy” and her idea of human conflict as a genetic trait.
Hanifah: “Parable of the Sower” was the first book I read that echoed my own belief system on paper. It became my bible for that time.
When you watch television what do you watch?
Olive : “Saving Grace.”
Hanifah: “Lost,”whenever they decide to make a new episode.
What’s something that many people don’t know about you?
Olive: I’m disabled. One of my arms doesn’t work as well which makes being a camera woman all the more interesting.
Hanifah: I can’t read music. But I know it.
Olive and Hanifah can be reached at www.iloveupeople.com.